Lambadi (Kannada) New Testament with Psalms & Proverbs
Lambadi is a Rajasthani language spoken by nomadic Banjara people across India.

The language is known by various other names, including Lamani, Lamadi, Lambani, Labhani, Lambara, Lavani, Lemadi, Lumadale, Labhani Muka and variants, Banjara, Banjari, Bangala, Banjori, Banjuri, Brinjari, Vanjari, Wanji, and variants, Gohar-Herkeri, Goola, Gurmarti, Gormati, Kora, Singali, Sugali, Sukali, Tanda.

Regional dialects are divided between the Banjara of Maharashtra (written in Devanagari), Karnataka (written in the Kannada script) and Andhra Pradesh (written in the Telugu script). Speakers are bilingual in either Telugu, Kannada, or Marathi.

The origin of Banjara community is stated in the area between Bikaner and Bahawalpur, Pakistan. After the fall of the Rajputs, they started spreading across the country. The Banjara had spread to Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and other states of India. About half their number speak Lambadi, one of the Rajasthani dialects, while others are native speakers of Hindi, Telugu and other languages dominant in their respective areas of settlement. They are a Scheduled Tribe in Andhra Pradesh (where they are listed as Sugali), Orissa, Karnataka, Haryana, Punjab, and Himachal Pradesh. Even though they settled across the country, they still consider themselves as nomad community.

Food

The traditional food of Banjara is lathi (roti). Daliya is a dish cooked using many cereal, such as wheat or jawar. Banjara people also enjoy many non-vegetarian foods. Among the non-vegetarian dishes unique to them are saloi, made from goat blood and other goat parts. In Andhara, fish is their main food. The Banajara are also known for preferring spicy food.

Dress

Traditional banjara dress

Women are known to wear colorful and beautiful costumes like phetiya (as ghagra) and kanchalli (as top) and have mehendi tattoos on their hands. The dress is considered fancy and attractive by Western cultures. They use mirror chips and often coins to decorate it. Women put on thick bangles on their arms (patli). Their ornaments are made up of silver rings, coins, chain and hair pleats are tied together at the end by chotla.

Men wear dhoti and kurta (short with many folds). These clothes were designed specially for the protection from harsh climate in deserts and to distinguish them from other.

Their customs, language and dress indicate they originated from Rajasthan. They live in settlements called thandas. They lived in zupada (hut). Now many of them live in cities. They have a unique culture and dance form. On many occasions they gather, sing and dance.

Their traditional occupation is nomadic cattle herding. Now they are slowly moving into agriculture and trade.

The accurate history of Lambanis or Lambadis or Banjaras is not known but the general opinion among them is that they fought for Prithvi Raj Chauhan against Muhammad of Ghor. The trail of the Lambadi/Banjara can be verified from their language, Lambadi borrows words from Rajasthani, Gujarati, Marathi and the local language of the area they belong to.

Banjaras originally belong to Rajasthan and they were Rajputs who migrated to southern parts of India for trade and agriculture. They settled down in the southern or central area of the country and slowly loosened contacts with Rajasthan, and their original community. Over a period of time both the communities separated and they adopted the local culture.

Lambadi Dance is a special kind of dance of Andhra Pradesh. In this form of dance, mainly the female dancers dance in tune with the male drummers to offer homage to their Lord for a good harvest. At Anupu village near Nagarjunakonda, Lambadi dance originated. They are actually semi-nomadic tribes who are gradually moving towards civilization. This dance is mainly restricted among the females and rarely the males participate in Lambadi dance. Lambadi is a special kind of Folk Dance which involves participation by tribal women who bedeck themselves in colorful costumes and jewelry. (Courtesy: Free wikipedia)

Translator(s): Mr. Nagesh Naik / Mr. Naveena

Mission: Gypsy Mission / Uplifting Tribals

Population: 400,000 (2001 census)

Progress: Finalization of the text is expected to take more time as there are a number of transliteration problems. Progress is steady.

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