Jatapu is a tribal group found in the hills of central India. They are primarily seen in Srikakulam
districts of Andhra Pradesh
. A majority have settled in the states of Tamil Nadu
The tribe has a typical language known as 'Jatapu'. But most of the Jatapu speakers adopted Telugu as their mother tongue.
Jatapus are generally farmers and forest laborers. A few of them sell pottery, baskets and bangles. Very few manage their livelihood from craft works. Besides, they hold most of the local government positions.
The members live in small village settlements, which consist of mud houses lined in rows. The houses are joined to each other with common outer walls and a long thatched roof. Each house has usually four separate rooms to provide privacy.
Three types of marriages- by consent, by elopement and by bride-service (the groom works for the bride's parents) - can be seen among the villagers. The members marry within their own tribe, but never within the same clan (extended family).
Virtually all Jatapu are Hindus. They worship many Hindu gods and goddesses, along with worshipping Jakeramma, the only native god of the Jatapu. Jakeramma has one shrine in each village.