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Yerukula in India


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Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
633,000 Yerukula Hinduism 1.76 % Unknown No   

Yerukula in India

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Introduction / History
Yerukala or Erukala or Erukula is a caste or social group found largely in the Southern Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Tamilnadu and Karnataka. Yerukalas are indigenous people of South India. They call themselves "Kurru". They are called "Yerukula" after their women's traditional profession of fortune telling (Eruka chepputa, Telugu term).

The population of Yerukala tribe according to 1991 census was 387,898. The total literacy rate among Yerukulas as per the 1991 Census reports is 25.74%. The Yerukala tribe has a dialect of its own which is called "Yerukula basha" or "Kurru basha" or "Kula vaatha". It is derived from Dravidian languages, mostly Telugu, Tamil and Kannada.

The Yerukala tribe is divided into a number of functional and endogamous sub-divisions and each such sub-division is named after the commodity, which they traded in and the occupation they adopted. The sub-divisions of Yerukula are Dabba Yerukala (those who make baskets from split bamboo), Eethapullala Yerukula (Date twigs) (those whom make baskets from wild date leaves), Kunchapuri Yerukala (those who make weaver's combs), Parikamuggula Yerukala (Sooth Sayers), Karivepaku Yerukala (hawkers of curry leaves) and Uppu Yerukala (salt hawkers).

The type of family among Yerukala tribe is usually nuclear. Descent is patrilineal, residence is patrilocal and authority is patriarchal. Cross-cousin (menarikam) marriages are preferred. Monogamy is the common form of marriage, but polygamy is also socially permitted. Marriage through negotiation and exchange are the common modes of acquiring mates. Divorce is permissible on the grounds of adultery, barrenness and incompatibility between the spouses. Widows are permitted to re-marry.

Yerukalas worship benevolent Gods, which are common Gods in Hindu pantheon and appease malevolent deities. The Yerukalas celebrate all the Hindu festivals.

The Yerukala tribe has its own social control mechanism at each habitation inhabited by Yerukala to ensure proper observance of prescribed codes of conduct. This traditional council (Kula Panchayat) is headed by an elderly man whose office is hereditary traditionally. The traditional council (Kula Panchayat) tries and decides the domestic disputes, disputes relating to theft, adultery, loans, property and land.

The traditional occupations of Yerukalas include basket-making, mat weaving, pig rearing, rope-making etc. The Yerukala women are specialized in sooth saying and fortune telling. Some of them also participate in the economic activities like basket making, mat weaving etc, and make baskets with wild date leaves.

Today, most of the Yerukalas are settled in the villages/towns and trying to make their way out of the poverty by getting education to obtain financial freedom which has been denied to them since ages. Yerukalas are using reservations and other benefits from the government to a greater extent to obtain the freedom they used to have long time age. Even though they live in a free democratic country like India, they are still living under harsh social conditions because of the caste system and face social discriminations time and again.

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Country: India
Continent: Asia
Region: Asia, South
Persecution Rank:10 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Population in Country:633,000
Largest States:
Andhra Pradesh (442,000)Telangana (168,000)
Tamil Nadu (12,000)Odisha (2,300)
Karnataka (1,700)Maharashtra (800)
Puducherry (300)Delhi (300)
Gujarat (200)Chhattisgarh (100)
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Ethnolinguistic Map:University of Texas or other map
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Yerukula
People Name General: Yerukula
Alternate People Names:
KoramaKorama Chetti
ROP3 Code: 113894
Joshua Project People ID: 18342
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 633,000
Population all Countries: 633,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
People Cluster: South Asia Tribal - other
People Name General: Yerukula
Ethnic Code: CNN25
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Yerukula (336,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): yeu    Ethnologue Listing
Secondary Languages:
Telugu (170,000)Hindi (17,000)
Tamil (17,000)Kannada (1,300)
Marathi (200)Kuvi (200)
Urdu (80)Koya (70)
Bhili (60)Odia (60)
Note: Only 10 largest secondary languages listed
Total Languages: 17
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.01 % 
Christianity1.76 %(Evangelical: Data not available)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism97.54 % 
Islam0.25 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.02 % 
Unknown0.43 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent0.00 %
Protestant0.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic0.00 %
(Evangelicals distributed across Christianity segments)
Progress Indicators [5]
Progress Scale[6]   Few evangelicals and few who claim to be Christians. Little, if any, history of Christianity.
Least-Reached: Yes
GSEC Status:Level 2   Less than 2% Evangelical. Initial (localized) church planting within past 2 years
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 2014
New Testament:
Complete Bible: None Reported
Possible Bible Sources: Forum of Bible Agencies
 World Bible Finder
 World Christian Resource Directory
 Gospel Go
Ministry Resources [7]
Audio RecordingsMegaVoice Audio Bible and Stories
Audio RecordingsAudio Bible teaching
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Yerukula
GeneralGospel resources links
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Yerukula in India

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    South Asia Tribal - other     Asia, South    
      Yerukula India    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Yerukula in India          
      Religion Language  
      Hinduism     Yerukula  
    All Religions                              

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