(Last Updated on : 16/09/2010)
Bodo tribe is considered as the earliest immigrants in Assam and are said to be the most culturally rich community of the north-western parts of the state. `Bodo` is derived from the term `Bod`, which means Tibet, thus signifying that majority of the Bodos arrived from Bhutan passes. The 6th Schedule of the Constitution of India
has conferred the Bodo tribal community the status and prestige of a plain tribe. Bodo tribes are found in several places of Assam. These Bodo tribes are amongst the primitive settlers of the valley of Assam
town is regarded as the hub of the Bodo tribal community. Other main concentration includes the Brahmaputra valleys and also its adjacent areas.
Language of Bodo Tribe
As far as the languages are concerned, Bodo tribal people speak Bodo language
, which has been derived from famous Tibeto-Burmese language family
. For writing, majority of these Bodo tribes of the primitive ages make use of the Roman script and Assamese script. As a recent phenomenon, this Bodo tribal community has taken up the Nagari script. There are also some eminent scholars who are of the opinion that the Bodo language has developed their indigenous script, which is popularly called Deodhai.
Culture of Bodo Tribe
This tribal group is known for their rich and diverse culture. Cultural exuberance of the whole of the society of the Bodo tribal community incorporates elements like dancing, singing, language etc. Also if one studies the society of the Bodo tribal community, one can find several surnames like Bargayary, Basumatary, Bodosa, Boro, Brahma, Bwiswmuthiary, Dwimary, Goyary, Ishlary, Ishwary, Khaklary, Mushahary, Narzary, Owary, Sargwary, Sibigry and Wary.
Religion of Bodo Tribe
Like many of the tribal communities of Indian subcontinent, these Bodo tribes have got orientation towards religion as well as spiritualism. Despite the advancement of Hinduism amongst the Bodo tribal community, the majority of Bodo Hindus follow a set of rules called Brahma Dharma. Also there are various religious practices and beliefs have been adapted by all the Bodo tribal people over the years. In the ancient years, Bodo tribes fete their ancestors. However, in the contemporary period, these Bodo tribes have undertaken the diverse practices like Bathouism, Hinduism
. To be precise, Bathouism is a special type of worship of progenitors, better known as Obonglaoree.
Costumes of Bodo Tribe
Dresses of the Bodo tribal community is quite exquisite, thereby, exhilarating the beauty and glamour of females to a wide extent. The conventional dress of a Bodo female is popularly called Dokna, which these Bodo women knit themselves. Shawls also are in fashion of the Bodo tribal community.
Food of Bodo Tribe
The Bodo tribal community is very fond of the conventional drink, called Zu mai where Zu means wine, Mai means rice. For most of the Bodo tribes, rice is the main food and is usually savoured by a non vegetarian dish like fish or pork. In fact, the Bodo tribes have developed preference for various kinds of non-vegetarian dishes. Apart from these, Bodos are fond of Oma Bedor, Onla and Narzi and these are their main cuisines.
Fairs and Festivals of Bodo Tribe
Fairs and festivals constitute a significant part of the culture of the Bodo people. One of the most cherished festivals of this tribal group is Baishagu. It is basically a springtime festival and is celebrated during mid April. These people are popularly known for their colourful folk dances.
Occupation of Bodo Tribe
Over the years following the traditions and culture of some of the other tribal communities of the whole of the Indian subcontinent, these Bodo tribes too have taken up several occupations. In the early years, this Bodo tribal community has practiced of all types of cultivation and farming. Rice
plantation, pig and poultry farming, and silkworm rearing are quite significant amongst them. Moreover, the Bodos are excellent bamboo craftsman and the Bodo tribal community has also developed craftsmanship in creating several products from things like bamboo
. Weaving is also a popular occupation of the Bodo tribes. All the exquisite products that these Bodo tribes have created over the years have been the main force of enabling the Bodo tribal community to reach to its zenith. Several Bodo families rear silkworms. Amongst the Bodo tribal females, weaving has gained fame and popularity. Since a very early age, these Bodo girls learn the art of weaving, and thus loom is an inseparably thing in the courtyard of a Bodo house.
Further, some interesting points have been inferred by the anthropologists, which have carried on surveys on their lives. This Bodo tribal community speaks the language, having the same name. In the Bodo Language Ba means five and thou means deep. Bodo tribe represents one of the largest of 18 ethnic sub-groups of Kacharis group.