165,000 (2000). 141,000 Maria and 23,700 Hill Maria.
Maharashtra, Garhchiroli (Chanda) district, Etapalli, Bhamragad, and Sironcha tahsils; Chhattisgarh, Bastar district, Narayanpur and Bijapur tahsils. In Narayanpur, an administrative block of 200 villages known as ‘Abujhmar block’.
Abujmaria (Abujhmadia, Abujhmaria, Abujmar Maria, Abujmariya, Hill Maria), Adewada, Bhamani Maria (Bhamani), Etapally Maria. Etapally Maria dialect is apparently understood by all. Distinct from Muria, Dandami Maria [daq], Northern Gondi [gno], Southern Gondi [ggo], and Koya [kff]. 76%–77% intelligibility of other Gondi varieties. Muria Gondi [mut] is intelligible of Abujmaria around Narainpur area but not elsewhere. Distinct from Maria dialect of Chanda District in Maharashtra (Natarajan 1985). Intelligibility 90%–100% of Bhamragarh dialect by other Maria speakers. Maria is intelligible to the Gatte Maria, an ethnic group. Lexical similarity: 59%–80% among dialects (1991 survey), 65%–98% (1999 survey).
A Scheduled Tribe. Hindu, traditional religion, Christian.