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Maria

A language of India

ISO 639-3mrr

Population  165,000 (2000). 141,200 Maria and 23,700 Hill Maria.
Region  Maharashtra, Garhchiroli (Chanda) District, Etapalli, Bhamragad, and Sironcha tahsils; Chhattisgarh, Bastar District, Narayanpur and Bijapur tahsils. In Narayanpur, an administrative block of 200 villages is known as ‘Abujhmar block’.
Alternate names   Hill Maria, Madi, Madia, Madiya, Modh, Modi
Dialects  Abujmaria (Abujhmadia, Abujhmaria, Abujmariya, Abujmar Maria, Hill Maria), Adewada, Bhamani Maria (Bhamani), Etapally Maria. Etapally Maria dialect is apparently understood by all. A separate language from Muria, Dandami Maria [daq], Northern Gondi [gno], Southern Gondi [ggo], and Koya [kff]. 76%–77% intelligibility with other Gondi varieties. Muria Gondi is intelligible to Abujmaria around Narainpur area but not elsewhere. “Distinct from Maria dialect of Chanda District MH” (Natarajan). Intelligibility 90%–100% of Bhamragarh dialect by other Maria speakers. Maria is intelligible with the speech of the Gatte Maria, an ethnic group. Lexical similarity: 59%–80% among dialects (1991 survey), 65%–98% (1999 survey).
Classification  Dravidian, South-Central, Gondi-Kui, Gondi
Language use  All domains. Also use a Muria variety, Halbi [hlb], or Hindi.
Language development  Literacy rate in L1: Men 5%, women below 1%. Literacy rate in L2: 25%–50%. Literacy help urgently requested. High interest in literacy. Dictionary. Grammar.
Writing system  Devanagari script.
Comments  A Scheduled Tribe. Gatte Maria is an ethnic group probably not distinct linguistically from the Abujmaria dialect. Swidden agriculturalists. Hindu, traditional religion, Christian.