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Dravidian peoples facts for kids

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Brahui Intellectuals and linguists Meeting
Dravidian intellectuals and linguists meeting.

The Dravidian peoples are a people who speak Dravidian languages.

Ancient Dravidians and origin

According to scientists and historians, the Dravidian people are descendants of Neolithic West Asian farmers from Iran which conquered and largely displaced the outnumbered native hunter gatherers of India. Dravidians are linked to the neolithic Zagros Mountain farmers, and this West Asian population forms the main ancestor of modern South Asians.

A genetic and biogeographical study (Das et al. 2016) concluded that Dravidian peoples belong to the Caucasoid race. According to the study, these proto-Dravidians migrated into India around 8,000 years ago from a region later known as Elam in modern day Iran. The authors suggest that this results support the Elamo-Dravidian hypothesis.

The Indus Valley civilization is suggested to be of Dravidian origin. Genetic tests show that the ancient Indus Valley Civilization was predominantly of neolithic Zagros mountain farmers ancestry (98%) and this ancestry component is linked to early Dravidians.

Today

Today there are around 220 million Dravidian speakers worldwide. Most live in South India. Others live in parts of Central India, Eastern India, Bangladesh, Southern Pakistan, Sri Lanka the Maldives and Nepal. The biggest groups of Dravidians are the Tamil people, Telugu people, Kannada people, and the Malayali people. Smaller Dravidian communities with 1–5 million speakers are the Tulu people, Gondi people and Brahui people in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

List of Dravidian people

Name Country Population Notes
Brahuis  Pakistan,  Afghanistan 4,873,000 Brahuis belong to the north-Dravidian subgroup.The majority are found in Baluchistan, Pakistan, with smaller amounts in Southwestern Afghanistan.
Kannadigas  India 36.9 million Kannadigas belong to the south-Dravidian subgroup. Kannadigas are native to Karnataka, parts of northern Kerala,parts of southern Maharashtra, and northwest region of Tamil Nadu, India.
Malayalis  India 38 million Malayalis belong to south-Dravidian linguistic subgroup. Native to Kerala, southwestern Tamil Nadu, and Southern Karnataka.
Tamils  India,  Sri Lanka 75 million They belong to south-Dravidian linguistic subgroup. Tamils are native to Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, parts of Kerala, southern Andhra Pradesh, southern Karnataka and Sri Lanka.
Telugus  India 74 million They belong to the central/north Dravidian subgroup. Telugus are native to Andhra Pradesh, Telangana.
Tuluvas  India 2,000,000 (approx) They belong to the south Dravidian subgroup, and are found in coastal Karnataka and northern Kerala (alternatively named Tulu Nadh).

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