The Jatapu are one of the major Scheduled Tribes in the India state of Orissa, mainly in the Srikalulam and Vizianagaram districts, and also in the Koraput and Ganjam districts. The Jatapu are part of the Khondas, who speak the Khond language in the hills and Telugu on the plains.
The titles Jatapu or Jatapu Dora, Khond, Samanthulu, Korings, Kodulu are used synonymously for the Kuvi speaking people. Kuvi is a Dravidian language spoken by the Khond. Jatapu is the sixth largest tribe of Andhra Pradesh.
The literacy rate is very low among the Jatapu, since they consider that a child can contribute better by engaging in some economic activity at home rather than going to school.
The Jatapu are mainly cattle grazers. One feature of their culture is a form of parasol to shield them from the sun, and that forms the basis of the common design feature of the letters of their alphabet: the curved upper part represents the umbrella, made of palm leaves, and the vertical line beneath it is the shaft that supports the leaves.
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