(Last Updated on : 08/07/2011)
Tribes of Maharashtra are the primitive people of this region and are scattered in different parts of the state. Mostly they are the inhabitants of the hilly areas. Some of the tribes are of primitive and nomadic character. Tribes like Warli Tribe, Bhil Tribe
, Koli Tribe
and Halba Tribe
are some of the tribes that inhabit in the land of Maharashtra. Constitution of India
recognises some these tribal groups as Scheduled Tribes. There are certain cultural aspects, which have made the culture and tradition of these tribes of Maharashtra
enriched and ennobled. In other words their dialect, clothes, folklores, rites and practices show that these tribes of Maharashtra possess a heritage that is quite unique.
Culture of Tribes of Maharashtra
Many of these tribes of Maharashtra have adapted to the lifestyle and culture of nomads and till today, these tribes of Maharashtra state have retained their originality intact. As per some scholars and anthropologists, Maharashtra has 313 nomadic tribal communities and 198 unnoticed tribal groups.
Following the tradition of many of the tribal communities of the Indian subcontinent, these tribes of Maharashtra have got inclination towards religion and also spiritual beliefs. Ancient customs like worship of nature in several forms, animal offerings during religious rituals, decorating their heads with tusk, etc. is still in vogue.
Festivals and fairs are an integral part in the society of most of these tribes of Maharashtra. Hinduism
is widely practiced by most of the tribes of Maharashtra and thus, all the festivals of the Hindus are celebrated by them in great vivacity. A lot of alcohol is consumed during the occasions.
Their society is governed by the Jat Panchayat. Marriage plays an important part in the lives of the both female and male members of the tribes of Maharashtra state. Monogamy is widely prevalent.
Occupation of Tribes of Maharashtra
These tribes of Maharashtra are involved in cultivation and other activities related to the agriculture, thereby, producing ample crops, like, rice and other vegetables. Societal structure too follows the norms of the Indian country.
Some Tribal Communities of Maharashtra
The Warli tribes are one of the prominent tribal communities of Maharashtra. These people have their own belief, culture and customs. Their extremely rapturous paintings are stunning. Nature is the main focus of all the cultures and customs of the Warli people. Nature is considered to be a mother like figure to them.
Historically the Bhil people used to reside in the deep forest and were expert hunters. Today they are settled as farmers. They worship the tribal deities like Mogra Deo and Sitla Matta.
Kolis are the people most notable in Maharashtra. Most of the Kolis are Hindu. In Maharashtra there is also a significant number of Christian Kolis. They worship Goddess Ekaveera. This tribe is distinctly identified for their particular focus on folk dance.
Halba tribe is one of the significant tribal communities which has taken shelter in several places of the Indian subcontinent including Maharashtra. These people are also adept in wood carving. Poultry farming, animal husbandry, cultivation are some of their major occupations. Apart from these, some of them earn their livelihood by selling forest products, and different articles of bamboo.
In Maharashtra, both the men and women of the Chodhari tribes are fond of wearing beautiful clothes. The people of this tribal community are vegetarian and they are basically agrarian people. Apart from this, they are also engaged in making clothes, tools, fishing, and jewellery etc.