Mal Paharia


A language of India

Alternate Names
Dehri, Mad, Mader, Mal, Mal Pahariya, Maler, Malpaharia, Malti, Malto, Maltu, Manlati, Mar, Marpaharia, Maw, Mawdo, Mawer, Mawer Nondi, Paharia, Parsi

51,000 (Bhaskararao 2006). Possibly 40,000 in West Bengal. Ethnic population: 111,000 (2000).


Jharkhand state: south Santal Pargana district, Ramgarh hills; Dumka district, Pakaur; south Godda, and Deoghar districts; some in Sahibganj district, Borio, Depart village; West Bengal state: Bankura, Barddhaman, and Murshidabad districts; Bihar state, Banka district.

Language Maps
Language Status

6b (Threatened).


Not inherently intelligible with Kumarbhag Paharia [kmj], Sauria Paharia [mjt], Bengali [ben], or Hindi [hin]. Part of the Malto ethnic group. Reportedly speak a variety similar to Kharia Thar [ksy] of Manbhum (Jharkhand). Lexical similarity: 85% between dialects, 59% with Mal Paharia Barmasiya.

Language Use

Vigorous. All domains. Positive attitudes. Some shifted to Bengali [ben].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L2: 13% male, 3% female, average 8% (1981). NT.

Devanagari script [Deva].

Other Comments

A Scheduled Tribe. Traditional religion, Christian.