Maria

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A language of India

Alternate Names
Hill Maria, Madi, Madia, Madiya, Modh, Modi
Population

165,000 (2000). 141,000 Maria and 23,700 Hill Maria; All Gondi speakers: 2,910,000 (2011 census).

Location

Chhattisgarh state: Bastar district, Narayanpur and Bijapur sub-districts, administrative block of 200 villages known as ‘Abujhmar block’; Maharashtra state: Garhchiroli (Chanda) district, Bhamragad, Etapalli, and Sironcha sub-districts.

Language Maps
Language Status

6a* (Vigorous).

Dialects

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], Adilabad Gondi [wsg], Aheri Gondi [esg], 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).

Language Use

All domains. Some also use Halbi [hlb], especially men who may also use a Muria variety. Also use Hindi [hin].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: Men 5%, women below 1%. Literacy rate in L2: 25%–50%. High interest in literacy. Dictionary. Grammar.
Writing

Devanagari script [Deva].

Other Comments

A Scheduled Tribe. Hindu, Christian, traditional religion.

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