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Bodos - Tribe Of Assam

Bodos are the true ethnic Tribal Community of Assam - the sub branch of the Bodo - Kachari Clan. The Bodos are
the largest among the Bodo - Kachari Clan. They are also the most progressive. Bodos reside in the Brahamaputra
valley and are considered to be largest ethnic and linguistic group of tribes. The Bodos speak Tibeto - Burmese
language. Nowadays the Bodos have accepted the Devnagari Language. Bodos have a language of their own
called Deodahi.

Earlier the Bodos were cut off from other parts of the Country due to their geographical area and weather
conditions. This lead to the their lack in education and economy. This was one of the reasons of the arousal of the
Bodoland Movement. The movement took its wings in the late 80's under the leadership of Upendra Nath
Brahma who is now regarded as the Father of Bodos. A Bodoland Territorial Council was formed to save the
Culture, language and identity of Bodos. It was headed by All Bodo Students Union (ABSU) and an armed
militant group called the Bodo Liberation Tigers (BLT). Following the movement a settlement was reached
between the Government and the Bodos. A land was given to the Bodos which came to be known as Bodoland.

In 2006, the former BLT members, formed an alliance with Indian National Congress under the leadership of
Hagrama Mohilary and came into power in Dispur District Of Assam. Still in Assam, illegal immigrants occupy
tribal belts.

Occupation :

Tea Plantation Sericulture

One of the major income sources, the Bodos turn to Silk rearing, the Bodos take special interest in this
working in tea estates. The women working in assam tea work. Not only it is a source of livelihood, it is also
estates are mostly bodos. one of the best means to know about the best quality
silk.
The Culture of Bodos

Bodos in their ancient years used to pray their forefathers. Today they have changed significantly - they have
accepted Hinduism as their main religion. They practice a Culture known as Bathouism. The plant Siju is taken
for the worship as a symbol of Bathou Symbol. For the worship, a clean ground near the home or the courtyard of
the home is taken. One pair of Betelnut called Goi betel leaf called pathwi is used as offering. The offering
includes rice, milk and sugar. For the Kherai Puja which also happens to be the most important of all Pujas, an
altar is placed in the rice field. The Bodos do not practice dowry and caste system as per their rules of Brahma
Dharma.

The main work of Bodos is tea plantation, silk worm rearing, weaving, pig and poultry farming. They are also
good bamboo craftsman. The main festivals of Bodos include Kherai - the colorful function which includes,
drumming, singing and dancing (Bagurumba) to the rythmn of the drums. Garja, Hapsa Hatarnai, Awnkham
Gwrlwi Janai, Bwisagu and Domashi are the other important festivals. The main cuisines of the Bodos include
Narzi, Onla and Oma Bedor.

Gonds - The Gods People


Gondvana - the Mighty Kingdom in the olden days still stands with the ruins of the Kingdom in its
sand. From the 15th century to the 18th century, this region called Gondwana was the home to the
Gonds. The Gondwana Land gave its name to the present day Africa, South America, Australia,
India Sub Continent and Antarctica. The Gonds lost their lives in saving their lands from the then
upcoming tribe called the Banjaras. Most of the Gonds describe themselves as hill people or
as Koi or Koitur.

The inheritors of the Dravidian Culture - the Gonds are the simple tribes with a high thinking of non
- egaliriatism. Mainly found in Central India the Gonds preach the Gods path and do agriculture as
their main work.

Apart from Madhya Pradesh, Gonds can be found in Chattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and Orissa. They
are the largest Tribe in India, South Asia, and perhaps the world with nine million
people (out of which four million resides in India). They speak language related to Telgu and
Dravidian language. The spoken languages are generalized as Gondi and Hindi. They practice
agriculture growing cereals. Herding cattles is also a part of their livelihood.

Gonds Different Aspects :

Gond Girl The Home

The girl in this photograph looks like any of the It looks like any regular house in a small
modern girls who like traditional dresses. Though not village. The Gonds have begun to live in the
to a large extent but the Gonds have changed wooden houses from quite a time, another
themselves with the changing times. big change which is visual in the living ways
of the Gonds.

The Culture of Gonds

The main diety of the Gonds is the pantheon - a single Temple


which bows to all the Gods and Culture of the World. The Gond
Clan is known as Persa Pen who protects all Clan Members.. They
believe in the equality of the human beings without the discrimination
of higher and lower society. This transparency can be clearly seen as
they themselves have inclusions of Bhils and Santals in their tribes.
They also worship the most ancient spirits as Gonds speak the
unwritten languages related to Dravidians.

Each village of Gonds a Village Guardian and a Village Mother


who are worshipped during all regular festivals. The Spirits both good
and bad are supposed to be inhabit hills, villages, lakes and rivers.
Sacrifices are made by the Village Priests - Devari - in most of the
festivals. Most aspects of the Gond life are filled with animal sacrifices.
But then most of the Gonds festivals are related to agriculture.

Most of the Gonds live in a Village with a Headman known as Mahji or Patel. A Village Council is also
there which divides the Gonds into Castes called Ahir (Cowherds), Agaria (Blacksmith),
Dhuli (Drummers) and Pardhan (bard and singers). A Gond Village has typically several
hamlets. Houses made of hatch and mud have a verandah (outer space), living room, kitchen,
special room for women, shrine room for Gods and a Guest Room. Gonds welcome visitors with
tobacco leaves, fruits or other small gifts.

The Staple Food of Gonds is two millets known as Kodo and Kutki. Vegetables are usually grown in
kitchen gardens or collected from forests. Gonds grow tobacco for smoking and make liquor for
Mahua tree for celebrations.

For the Celebrations, Gonds have Danderi dancers who retell events from Gond Mythology. Dance,
songs, cock fighting are the main attractions of any celebration. During the festive time women
wear colored glass bangles and necklaces made of small black beads. Tattooing is also a major
charm for Gonds.

Marraiges in Gonds are usually self chosen. However, the tribal council approves the matches. The
father of the groom pays a bride price. The newly weds live with the elders of the family till they
make a house of their own. The same Council also approves the divorces.

Gonds are educated to a pretty decent level. Around 25percent of Gonds in Maharashtra and 15
percent Gonds of Madhya Pradesh. However the ratio of boys to girls still remain 1: 5 percent.

Hmar - The Christian Tribe Of India


Hmar also known as Mhar or Mar are the dwellers of the North Eastern Part of India. Hmars can be
found in Meghalaya, Mizoram, Cachar, Meghalaya, Chittagong Hill Tracts and Tripura.

Dimasas are supposed to be the aboriginals of the Brahmaputra Valley ascending from the
Himalayas with their roots connecting to mainland China. The roots of Hmar find route to
the place called Sinlung. Sinlung is the ancestral home of Zonhnathlak. However the location of
Sinlung is still a controversy but not the roots of Hmar. Hmars eventually left Sinlung which was
once a democratic state.

The Hmars belong to the Chin-Kuki-Mizo group of tribes, and are recognised as Scheduled Tribe
under the 6th Scheduled of the Constitution of India. They are medium statured usually 5-5.6 ft in
height, sturdy, dark, haried, brown eyed and are known for their bravery. India – Manipur, Mizoram,
Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura have the major chunk of Hmar Tribe People.

The Modern Hmars :

The Dress The Models

The traditional dress of Hmar Tribe is colorful filled with The models have ramped up but these are
bright and radiant colors. Girls wear short skirts and the not the normal ones. These are the gentle
men coats and chongas. ladies of the Hmar Tribe who have
changed themselves drastically with the
changing time.

The Culture of Hmar

Hmars speak Hindi, English and Hmas language in their day to day life.
They are primarily Baptist and follow Christianity. They are the
cultivators as they make their livelihood from farming. These medium
statured people beleive in their hands and are known for their bravery.
But then with the changing times, one can find pretty educated hmars
working in various field and making handicrafts. The handicrafts made
by Hmars usually depict scenes of battles, adventure, love, victory and
their history.

Hmars still believe in their traditional arts including the folk dance and
folk songs which they play during their various festivals.

Munda - Adivasis Of Jharkhand


Mundas are the Adivasis or the Tribals of the Jharkand. They spread over other states like Bihar,
West Bengal, Chhatisgarh, and Orissa. Outside India Mundas can be found in Bangladesh. Today
there are around two million Munda People.
The Mundas are highly respected tribals from the time of pre - independence of India. Birsa
Munda , the Munda who turned into a Prophet and was a freedom fighter in the Indian
Independence Struggle, is the most respected tribal. At a small age of 20 yrs, Birsa Munda was
revered by his people as God. His active participation in the freedom fight disturbed the Britishers
so much that they finally caught him at the young age of 25. He died in suspicious circumstances in
the Jail of Ranchi in 1900. Even today his contribution to the Independence Of India is recognised
with regard. He has been honoured by the Governent Of India.
Different Aspects Of Mundas :

Festival of Munda Tribe God Of Jharkhand - Birsa


Munda
Like any other tribes, Mundas also have festivals but here they are a
with a difference. Lights, fire games, pomp and show make a big Birsa Munda, the
part of their festivals. revolutionary Munda, who
fought in the independence
freedom fight of India
against Britishers, is revered
as God in the State of
Jharkhand.

Culture Of Mundas

A one fourth of the Munda population is Christian. Mundas speak


Mundari language. They have a special dance called as Nupur
( an anklet) dance. Wearing Nupur in ankles, the Mundas dance in
chorus. For the occupation , in the ancient days they used to be the
woodcutters, cutting down the forests and then selling the wood. But
now they have taken to fishing and earth cutting.

Orans - The Progressive Tribe


The Orans or Oraons are the most progressive tribes of all the tribes found in India. They
are the ones who are into education and places like Churches. Kartik Oraon, who was the most
educated Oraon, an Indian Congress leader and former state communication minister of India,
Albert Ekka, the Paramveer Chakra awardees (Highest Award For Bravery in India), The
Roman Catholic Archbishop of Ranchi, Cardinal Telesphore Placidus Toppo, are Oraon. People of
this comunity have shown exceptional makes as compared to people of other tribes.

Orans speak the language called Kurukh which belongs to the Dravidian Family and is related to the
Pahari language ( language of mountains). Kurukh has a special recognition as it is taught in Ranchi
University.
The Orans have progressed with the time and have shifted to Indian Metro Cities like Kolkatta,
Delhi, Mumbai and other smaller cities like Patna, Buvneshwar, Bhopal, Hyderabad, Allahabad and
Lucknow.
The Modern Orans

The Faith Oran P Smith

The Oran is a religious tribe. Most of them pray a sacred groove Oran P Smith, an Oran of the Oran
known as Sarna Dharma. Rest of them are the followers of the tribe is the President of South
Christian Religion. However both school of thought live under Carolina Business Community and
the same roof called the Orans. a Board Member of Costal
Carolina University. It clearly
reflects how far the people of the
Progressive Tribe have reached,
something which sets them apart
from other tribes.
The Culture Of Orans

Ornas are basically Sarnas ( a sacred groove) - Sarna Dharma


( Dharmesh the God) which they follow and pray. Rest of the 25
percent are Christians. Orans who are Christians follow the rules guided
by the Church. But overall the Orans have a variety of folk dance and
music which are played on various ocassions. Both men and women
participate in the dance and other festival on equal basis.

Orans have taken to various professions - these include tea estate


managment in Assam, West Bengal and Nepal.

Gaddis - The Khanabadosh Tribe


Gaddis are the Tribes of the Himachal Pradesh, residing in the Dauladher Range. The peculiarity of
the Gaddis lie in their Khanabadosh Nature - they are Gypsies in true nature as they travel to
the higher pastures along their flocks in the summer season and so are transhumance in their
traditional practice.
In the earlier years the Ancestors of Gaddis left India during their tough times. Later on with the
Chauhan Rajputs Brahman Gaddis descended to the place called Chamba in Himachal Pradesh.
From those years, Gaddis and their generations have been living in Chamba along with the flocks.
Aside from Chamba, they are also found in Kangra district, near Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh .
Many Face Of Gaddis :

Gaddis Dance Gaddis - The Khanabadosh

They go round an round in circles as they dance to the Better known as Gypsies, the Gaddis is
tune of music and drums. The hip hop goes on as the beat the nomadic tribe who shifts to upper
of the drum increases, till the feet are dead tired. heights in the summers with their
flocks. It has become a tradition
followed from generations.

The Culture of Gaddis

Gaddis have a mix of Cultures. Some of them accepted Islam , in fear


of Aurang Zeb, other remains Hindus. Its a mix culture, which the
Gaddis follow, but the most important thing to Gaddis is the 25
yards long strand which they tie around their wrist. It is worn by
both men and women as the symbol of the tribe. The strand known as
DORA is tied with two coils at a time.

The main work of the Gaddis is the rearing of the sheep and making
wool. They also sell goat meat for a modest lifestyle.

Khasis - The Hynniew trep Tribe


Hynniew Trep , that is how they like to be called - The Khasis Tribe of Meghalaya, a state in the
North Eastern Part of India. The Khasis inhabit the Khasi Hills proper, and the Syntengs, or Pnars,
the Jaintia Hills.These people whose literal meaning is " Seven Huts " in Khasi Language,
cover about 50 percent of the population of Meghalaya. Khasis are the descendants of Mon-Khmer
speakers who migrated probably from Yunnan to Meghalaya. They live in the Jaintia Hills in the
state of Meghalaya. West Bengal, Mizoram, Maharashtra, Tripura, TamilNadu, Arunachal Pradesh,
Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

The sub - divisions of Khasis i.e. the Wars, Khynriams, Pnars and Bhois are not only the territorial
groups but each of them acquired different socio-cultural traits. What sets the Khasis Apart from
other tribes is that in Khasis the descendents are recognised from Mother and not from Father
(Matrilineal Society). As per the Khasi Law and tradition the mother inherits the children and
property and not the father. In addition to this a Khasi Women is at liberty to take divorce from
her husband as per her will. The Khasis have well defined homelands.
The Modern and the Traditional Khasis :

Khasi Girls Khasi Knups - Bamboo Hats

Khasis have adapted to the changing times to a certain extent. The traditional bamboo hats
They give equal importance to education as can be seen in the worn by Khasi Men and Women
form of these school going khasi girls. while farming. The bright colors
of the bamboo hats match with
the lush greenery of the farms
giving them the beauty of a bug
rather than a hat.

The Culture Of Khasis

Khasis are the descendants of Mon-Khmer speakers who migrated


probably from Yunnan to Meghalaya, and thus they are of East Asian
origin. Khasis are a mix of Presbyterian, Roman Catholic, Hindu castes.
Most of the Khasis follow the Presbyterian religion, Anglican, Catholic,
or Ka Niam Tynrai - the original Khasi Culture. They are similar in
appearance to their northern Mon-Khmer relatives, most notably the
Palaung and Wa.

Khasis have different prayers and functions as per the clan they follow.
In most of the festivals Khasi Men wear the traditional Khasi dress
called Jymphong ( long dress which is sleevless and has thongs in the
front. The women however have a colorful dress with several plates of
clothing, golden crown with spikes and feathers on it.

Khasis practice shifting cultivation which they call JHUM for their survival. The Kacharis have a
peasent based economy. The trend have occupational diversificaiton has also emerged among the
Khasis.

Dimasa - Dim - Fisa - The Tribe From Assam


This tribe from the North Eastern India, is a part of the greater Bodo - Kachari group. Dimasas live
in the Jatinga Valley in the North Chhachar Hills of Assam.

Dimasas are supposed to be the aboriginals of the Brahmaputra Valley ascending from the
Himalayas with their roots connection to the Great Hindu Epic Mahabharata. Dimasas have their
seats in the city called Dimapur. Lying on the banks of the river Dhansiri , also known as the Brick
City , was the ruling Capital of Kacharis - the prominent and powerful race of those times. Dimapur
got its name from the Kachari word Di - meaning water, Ma - meaning - big and Pur - meaning City.

Apart from Madhya Pradesh, Gonds can be found in Chattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and Orissa. They
are the largest Tribe in India with four million people. They speak language related to Telgu and
Dravidian language. The spoken languages are generalized as Gondi and Hindi. They practice
agriculture growing cereals. Herding cattles is also a part of their livelihood.

The Dimasa Kacharis are distributed in different regions of Assam and Nagaland. The Dimasa
Kacharis living in North Chachar Hills appear to have retained much of their traditional tribals more.
However, those ones in the in Nagaon district of Assam, the influence of Assamese Culture is very
apparent. The Dimasas living in Chachar Hills are highly influenced by the Bengali Culture.

Dimasas Way Of Life :

Dimasa Festival The Home of Dimasa

Slow dancing with putting of steps forward and backward Its the picture of a typical home of
covering a half circle, dimasas look pretty happy in their Dimasa. The homes are well groomed
semi - bright dresses. Slow music with thump of drums, are though not very large in size.
a mark of the Dimasa Festival.} Cleanliness is the main objective of
any Dimasa House.

The Culture of Dimasas

The Dimasas beleive that there is a Supreme Deity in the world


called the Banglaraja. The Lord Banglaraja has seven sons who too
are worshipped. Out of the seven sons, the eldest Sibrai is the most
revered one. Apart from these seven deities, spirits of ill- will and
good wills are also worshipped. Sakainjeek - the dreaded female
spirits are the most feared ones. Madai - the invisible spirits are also
the feared ones. Apart from these the Dimasas believe in Clans. They
have both male and female Clans who have their own titulary deities.

Every year Dimasa Kachari family worships its diety before sowing
paddy. This small festive is known as Madai Khelimba. For the people
who die , Dimasas cremate them. The dead person is bathed with fresh
water, draped in new bright clothes and placed inside the house for the
last moments. The widow does not tie her hair till the body is cremated
near the river side.

An important institution of the village is Hangsao. It is an association of unmarried boys and girls of
the village. It is organized for the purpose of working together in cultivation and lasts only for one
year. Round the year Hangsao s work together till a new group is formed the next year.
They also have festivals Bushu and Hangsao in which they play instruments ( no songs are sung)
and dance in traditional forms wearing specific dress and jewellery. The males put on the traditional
dresses like richa, rikaosa, paguri rimchau and rimchaoramai to perform the folk dances. The
females put on Rigu, rijamfini, rijamfinaberen, rikaucha, rikhra, jingsudu etc. and wear ornaments
like Kaudima, Khadu, Kamautai, Longbar, Panlaubar. Chandraral, Rongbarcha, Enggrasa, Jongsama,
Ligjao, Jingbri.

Bhil - The Archers


Bhils - The Archers, are the tribals of Mewar, descandents of original inhabitants of India. The word
Bhil is derived from Bil or Vil meaning Bow. The Bhils used to furnish the needs of Prince s of Mewar
with bowmen, supplies or by guarding their families. Some famous names of Bhils are Bhim, Bhim
Singh Maharana, Bhimisi and Bhindar. All of them have special place in the ancient history of India.

Bhils are the tribes of Central India found in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Mahrashtra and
Tripura. Out of India they are found in Bangladesh. In colonial times they were employed by the
Rajputs as Shikaris and as Warriors. Today there is a Mewar Bhil Corps - the acclaimed Corps of
Mewars. They are supposed to be the best archers and also excellent in geographical knowledge.
They are the third largest tribes in India after Gonds and Santhals.

Colors Of Bhils :

Traditional Dance Of Bhils Ploygamy - The Way


Of Life
The Traditional Dance of Bhils
known as Ghoomar, involves The Bhils have a strong
going round and round at very faith in the ritual called
high speeds without losing Polygamy. They are at
balance. It also involves their wish to remarry as
keeping upto ten to twelve many times they wish to.
water pots on the head and Though polygamy has
then moving in circles at high been a tradition for Bhils,
speeds. these days some of them
restrain from following
so.

The Culture Of Bhils

In the Olden days the Bhils used to live in hive like huts on
isolated hill tops, living there for a few weeks and then
constructing a new one. But now, they leave the huts only if a major disease breaks out or if the
hut is considered inauspicious. Some of them have also begun to live in bricked houses. For the
dresses, men wear turbans, waistcoat and a coat whereas the women wear saris ( a five - meter
long cloth draped around the body).

They have different ceremonis for birth, death, marriage and divorce. For the various ceremonies
they either worship the Lion or the mother nature in the form of wild. The affinity of Bhils to the wild
nature attributes to their generations being here for centuries. They have kept with the tradition.

Bhils follow Polygamy. A women is open to marry a man of her choice even after her marriage.
They have a Paternal Family System' system in which the family considers the joint family as the
major force of life. However in Bhils, the women, sons and daughters are free to lead their own
lives. There is a tradition of adapting children in this society.

Chenchu - Aboriginal Tribe of Central Hills


Chenchus are the Hindu Tribes - the Aboriginal Ones who are found in the Central Hills stations of
Andhra Pradesh.

Chenchus are the Aboriginal Tribe who still consider hunting for their livelihood rather then farming.
Selling meat is one of their major activity. Their food consists of gruel made from jowar or maize,
and boiled or cooked jungle tubers. They mix tamarind fruit with tamarind. The Caste Hindu which
lives with Chenchus take Chenchus land on rent and pay by giving a portion of their harvest to
Chenchus. They are the food gathering tribe who mostly speak Telgu.

The Chenchus collect jungle products like roots, fruits, tubers, beedi leaf, mohua flower, honey,
gum, tamarind and green leaves and make a mearge income of it by selling these to traders and
government cooperatives.

Colors Of Chenchu :

Chenchu - The Craftsman The Revered God - Hanuman

Self Reliant, the Chenchus have The Chenchus have good faith in
learned various small arts, like various Gods and Goddesses.
craftsmanship, to make their lives The Lingamayya, a form of Lord
more easy. On the other hand, Shiva, a Hindu Deity and the
Chenchus prefer to do most of their Goddess Maisamma - the Shakti
things on their own. are the most revered ones. Lord
Hanuman is also the main God.
The Culture Of Chenchus

The Chenchu Village is known as Penta and consists of a few Huts.


The Village elder is the one who takes the major decisions and does the
Counciling. The marraige of Chenchus is known as Pelli and takes
place through negotiation among the elders or by the choice of young
couples.

The Chenchus have a strong faith in the Gods and Godesses. They
worship their dieties with great devotion. Lord Eshwara among them is
known as “Lingamayya”, and Shakti as “Maisamma” or
“Peddamma”.The Gods are prayed with great pomp and show.