(Last Updated on : 25/09/2010)
Tribes of Chhattisgarh account for around one third of the total population of the state. The tribal population of Chhattisgarh is known for their unique lifestyle, rituals, traditional beliefs and superstitions. Tribes of Chhattisgarh
inhabit several districts of the state. One third of Chhattisgarh's population is of tribes, mostly in the thickly forested areas in the north and southern parts. The central plains of Chhattisgarh are known as the "Rice Bowl" of Central India. In the last few decades, the demographic profile of tribal dominated areas in the state has undergone a change. The tribal areas of Chhattisgarh have witnessed several rebellions starting from 1774 onwards against the intrusion by outsiders, primarily the British, in the domain of traditional rights and the tribal way of life. Some of the major tribes of Chhattisgarh include Gond tribe, Baiga Tribe
, Korba, Abhuj Maria, Bison Horn Maria tribe, Muria tribe, Halba tribe
, Bhatra and Dhurvaa tribes. In Chhattisgarh, Bastar District is considered as the largest tribal district. Bastar District
has over 70 percent tribal population. Around 26.76 percent of the total tribal population of the state resides in this district.
Among the tribes of Chhattisgarh Gond tribe
of Bastar region is considered as the most prominent one. Gond tribes are well known for their unique marriage system, Ghotul system. The tribes of Chhattisgarh differ from each other in their customs, traditions, costume and eating habits. Each tribal group of Chhattisgarh has its own unique culture. They have their distinctive traditional living styles. The tribal culture of Chhattisgarh includes different dance forms and music. These are considered as the most significant amusements and they form an integral part of the day life of these tribal groups. The costumes of the tribes of Chhattisgarh are colourful and attractive. The tribal women of this region adorn themselves with lots of ornaments that are made of beads, shells, mixed metals, cowries, bones, feathers, copper and bronze. These tribal communities are also known for their beautiful and distinctive arts and crafts. They mostly celebrate the festival of Dussehra
, but its celebration is somehow different from Dussehra celebrations of North India.
Majority of the tribes of Chhattisgarh depend upon forestry, hunting, fisheries and some local cottage industries for their livelihood. Some of the tribal people of this region are also employed in different primary sector jobs and other related industries. The tribes in Chhattisgarh have been able to retain their culture and traditional way of life despite the all pervasive influence of forces of modernity.
The population of Chhattisgarh is notable for the high proportion of Scheduled Tribes and for some specific sects. Of the total population of Chhattisgarh, tribals constitute at least 32.5 percent, which is a significantly high percentage. The combined population of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in Chhattisgarh is significantly higher at 44.7 percent and this is largely due to a high proportion of tribal population. A few of these tribes like the Gond Tribe have been highly influenced by the Hindu tradition and have in turn influenced local practices in the Hindu tradition as well. Other tribes like the Baigas have largely been untouched by the mainstream and have retained more of their traditional culture and way of life.