Kotia

Profile

Kotia is one of nearly twenty scripts created by Dr. Prasanna Sree for indigenous and minority groups, mostly in Andhra Pradesh. In each case, the design of the script reflects some iconic feature of the culture of that linguistic community. She writes:

Kotia is spoken by the Kotia, a scheduled tribe who live mainly in the Visakhapatnam district of Andhra Pradesh in India. According to the 1991 census the Kotia population was 41,591. Kotia is an Indo-Aryan language related to Odia, and alternative names for the language include AdivasiOdia, KotiaOdia, Kotiya and Tribal Odia. Parts of the Bible have been translated into Kotia, and the Telugu script is used to write the language, though only about 18% of the Kotia are literate.

The Kotia are a small hill tribe, inhabiting the Odisha and Andhra border area. The community is divided into two groups, the Bodo Kotia and Sano Kotia, which are further divided into a number of totemistic clans like Khara (Sun), Naga-Onthalu (Cobra), Goripitta (a bird), Killo / Pulli (tiger), Macha (fish), Bhall (bear), Khilo, Hanu (monkey), and Pangi (kite).

The Kotia family is nuclear, patrilocal, patrilineal and patriarchal. Monogamy is the norm and the custom of bride price is prevalent. Marriage through negotiation is regarded as ideal. Cross-cousin marriage and marriage by elopement and by service, junior levirate, junior sororate, remarriage of widow, widower and divorcees are allowed in their society. Inheritance of paternal property follows the rule of male equigeniture. They observe the puberty rite for adolescent girls.

Kotia have their own traditional community council headed by Nayak / Naidu and assisted by their sacred specialist Dissari, Pujari, Guru and their messenger the Barik / Chalan.

The Kotia are farmers, and deem it an honor to be called upon by their community elders to harvest crops. The recurring element in their script represents a scythe.

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