Native toIndia
Ethnicity17,044 Birhor people
Native speakers
2,000 (2007)[1]
  • Munda
    • North
      • Kherwarian
        • Mundaric
          • Birhor
Language codes
ISO 639-3biy
Birhor is classified as Critically Endangered by the UNESCO Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger[2]

The Birhor language is a highly endangered Munda language spoken by the Birhor people in Chhattisgarh, Odisha, West Bengal, and Maharashtra states in India.[1]

The Birhor are found mostly in Chota Nagpur and Santhal Paragana, with the Uthlu Birhors living near Bishunpur, Gumla district, Jharkhand (along the western border with Chhattisgarh).[3]


Most Birhor know Santali and Hindi, and a small minority know Ho. However, children still learn the language, and Birhor families use the language all the time at home. In addition, most Birhor want to be educated in their own language, and the language is used in most community affairs.[4]


  1. ^ a b Birhor at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ Moseley, Christopher; Nicolas, Alexander, eds. (2010). Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger (PDF) (3rd ed.). Paris: UNESCO. pp. 46–47. ISBN 978-92-3-104096-2. Archived from the original on 23 July 2022.
  3. ^ Vidyarthi, L. P. (1960), "The Birhor (The Little Nomadic Tribe of India)", in Wallace, Anthony F. C (ed.), Men and Cultures, University of Pennsylvania Press, doi:10.9783/9781512819526-085, ISBN 9781512819526
  4. ^ Sarkar, Sangita. "Birhor: A Sociolinguistic Study of Language Endangerment" (PDF).[dead link]