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The story of the Koyas goes back to pre-historic times. They seem to have had a highly evolved civilization in the past in which they were a ruling Tribe. Koyas are one of the few multi-lingual and multi-racial tribal communities living in India. They call themselves as “Koithur” which means people of Koya language. The land of Koithur or the Koya includes the Indravati, Godavari, Sabari, Sileru rivers and the thickly wooded Eastern Ghats, Adilabad, Warangal, Khammam, Karimnagar and the East and West Godavari districts and also covering parts of Bastar, Koraput, of Chatttisgarh and Orissa states. The Koya speak the language called “Koyi”. The Koya dialect is considered to be a major Dravidian group of languages spoken by tribes. To a great extent it resembles Telugu language and it is also similar to Tamil. In a Social structure, all Koya are divided into four Gatta or Gothra. There are also subtribes.

The Koya tribes are mostly inhabited in the south division of Bhadrachalam agency area. They live in thick forest in small hamlets. The houses are scattered and are not close to each other. Families which have the same surname and own land together put up their huts in one place and form a cluster. So a few clusters are been spread out across the village. This is known as Gudem or Gumpu.

The ITDAs were established by the government of erstwhile Andhra Pradesh under the Tribal Welfare Department in the year 1975 as single line administrative agencies to cater to holistic development of the tribal people. The ITDA is working in an area categorized as Schedule 5 Area under the Constitution of India commonly known as the Agency Area. The ITDA was registered under the Societies Registration Act XXI of 1869 The Integrated Tribal Development Agencies (ITDA) was established with the primary object of ensuring an integrated approach towards implementation of developmental programs for tribal’s in the sub plan area. The Project Officers of ITDAs were vested with the administrative control over Agriculture, Horticulture, Livestock Farms, Ashram Schools etc.

Koya Art Forms:
Apart from the traditional Koya Dance “Dhimsa” and the ‘Dalgudda’ art prepared for the story telling art form; the Koya’s basic life itself is artistic, their day to day life activities. ‘Dalgudda’ art is made with colorful cloth pieces; it’s an appliqué work where the story is depicted. The way they build their hut/home, they use Timber, Bamboo and Palmyra leaves for construction of houses.

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