(Last Updated on : 12/01/2011)
A blend of culture, religion and ethnicity is represented by the tribes of Karnataka. These tribes of Karnataka have built their settlements in several hilly and mountainous areas. As far as the languages are concerned, the tribes of Karnataka state converse with each other in different languages. Kananda language is the main language. Today these tribes of Karnataka speak in other languages like Malayalam, Hindi etc.
Following the tradition of most of the tribes of the whole country, these tribes of Karnataka
too have taken diverse religions. Although Hinduism
is the most prevalent religion, there are only a handful of tribes of Karnataka who have adept to religions like Islam
Several other tribal communities of Karnataka possess their distinct tradition and ethnicity. They communicate in their local dialect and they also maintain their own tradition. Some of them are also reckoned as being originated from the warrior race. Coorg and Kodavas are known for their cultural and traditional distinctions among the tribal communities.
Fairs and festivals too are an integral part of the culture of and tradition of the state of Karnataka. A renowned dance format of the tribal communities of Karnataka is the open- air folk theatre, better known as Bayalata. This dance-drama in general has four or five actors or actresses, aided by a jester. The theme of this dance drama centers around several mythological stories. However, there are times when true life incidents are also emphasized in this dance of the tribes of Karnataka. This dance is executed at religious festivals and various social and family occasions. Generally these festivals start at night and carry on till quite a long period of time. The tribes of Karnataka enact several famous stories of the great epics like Ramayana
. Certain norms are to be followed while performance by the tribes of Karnataka while undertaking dance performances. For instance the costumes are complicated, the make-up is loud, facial expression are vital and are usually associated with thunderous noises and war-cries.
The tribes of Karnataka are also known for their costumes, cultural habits, folk dances and songs, foods and their way of celebrating different festivals and occasions. The long list of the tribes of Karnataka state includes Bedar tribe
, Toda tribe
, Hakkipikki tribe
, Jenu Kuruba tribe
, Kadu Kuruba tribe
, Kattunayakan tribe
, Konda Kapus tribe
, Sholaga tribe
etc. Among several tribal communities of the state of Karnataka, this Bedar tribe is worth mentioning which is far famed in several names, namely, Beda, Berad, Boya, Bendar, etc. Another tribal community of Karnataka is the Hakkipikki tribe. The birth of this Hakkipikki tribal community has rich history, which also establishes a relation with the famous Ranaprathap Singh.
Kadu Kuruba tribe is one of the significant tribes who have got the rich tradition of worshiping stone and also their predecessors with lots of festivity and enthusiasm. Apart from these tribal groups, the Kattunayakan tribe is said to be the descendants of the Pallavas. Collection of food is one of the chief professional activities of the Kattunayakan tribes who also have got inclination to religious values and ethnicity. Konda Kapus tribe falls in the list of the scheduled tribes in the whole of the Indian subcontinent exulting in its culture and tradition.
Another important tribal group, Sholaga tribe, has a belonging to the Kannada group. Numerous members of the Sholaga tribes converse with each other in the beautiful language of Sholaga , which is also famous amongst other people in different names like Kadu Sholigar, Sholiga, Sholigar, Solaga, Soliga, Soligar, Solanayakkans, Sholanayika. They are the followers of Hindu religion. Moreover, the wonderful houses, good clothes, ennobled language has drawn the attention of many people towards the tradition of this Toda tribal community. These tribes have added multiplicity in the culture and tradition of Karnataka.