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, south Santal Pargana district, Ramgarh hills; Dumka district, Pakaur; south Godda, and Deoghar districts; some in Sahibganj district, Borio, Depart village; West Benga, Bankura, Barddhaman, and Murshidabad districts. Possibly in Bangladesh.

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. Speak a variety similar to Kharia Thar [ksy] of Manbhum (Jharkhand). Lexical similarity: 85% between dialects, 59% with Mal Paharia Barmasiya and 55% with Khorta Babudoha.

Language Use

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

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

A Scheduled Tribe. Traditional religion, Christian.