(Last Updated on : 13/03/2010)
Culture of Bastar District is mainly tribal in nature as it is a basically a tribal district. The tribal culture of Bastar District is unique as well as unusual. In Bastar District, the different tribal castes have their own different indigenous customs, traditional and religious practices. Moreover, the dialect used by the tribal communities also differs.
Tribal district Bastar in Chhattisgarh is full of festivals which include harvest festivals like Navakhana, Mati Puja (worship of the land), Goncha (the chariot festival), etc. Many of the Hindu festivals are observed by the people in a different way. The most important festival in Bastar District is Dussehra. Dussehra
in Bastar is devoted entirely to Goddess, Danteshwari Devi. Bastar Dussehra is believed to have been started by Maharaj Purushaottam Deo, the fourth Kakatiya ruler of Bastar. The festival involves participation of all major tribes of Bastar District. Bastar Dussehra has several components, each of which has a history of its own. The important festivals of Gond Tribe
observed in the district are Navakhana and Chaitrai. Navakhana is observed in the month of September. On this day, Gonds offer new grain and liquor to their ancestors. In Kondagaon
, Budha Deo is worshipped on this day. In Jagdalpur, this festival is observed by taking sweets and giving new clothes to the members of the family.
Country dances are the chief amusements of all the tribes of Bastar District and cock-fighting is their favourite pass time. The tribal society of Bastar is famous for their exotic handicrafts with a variety of designs and shapes. These handicrafts include wood-carvings, metal items, terracotta items, bamboo items, etc. In Bastar, being a district full of forest containing finest quality of teak and other types of woods, several attractive wooden carving crafts and various types of furniture are made by the skilled tribal people. Wood crafts are another most famous, beautiful and unique art Bastar District. These wooden crafts are made out of the finest teak wood and white wood. These wooden crafts include idols, wall panels, furniture, etc. These handicrafts are generally exported to different places of the country and also in foreign countries.
Further, handicrafts of terracotta items of Bastar District are also very popular. These terracotta items include elephants, tigers, deer, horses, table lamps, etc. These handicrafts are of different sizes and shapes. Bastar District also specializes in bamboo crafts which include products like wall hangings, table lamps, table mats, etc. Wrought iron crafts are an indigenous Bastar tribal craft. Lastly, cotton fabrics are one of the famous and attractive handicrafts made by the tribal people of Bastar District. These are made of Kosa thread which is made from a kind of worm found in the forest, hand-woven and hand printed by the tribes. The hand printing is generally done with the natural vegetable dye. These fabrics include cotton saris - well-known as Bastar Kosa Sadi, dress materials and drapes.
All these reflect the colourful and diverse culture of Bastar District.