(Last Updated on : 05/11/2009)
Ho tribes are concentrated in West Bengal
and apart from this region they also reside in the earlier Singhbhum district of Jharkhand
. They are renowned for their simple, amiable and other philanthropic qualities. In the earlier period, these Ho tribes are far-famed for their fighting skills and acumen. The Hos secured their position by winning different wars against the Rajas of Mayurbhanj district
and Chota Nagpur.
Ho tribal group is also known by alternative names like Bihar Ho tribes or Lanka Kol. The word `Ho` generally connotes man. Their language is known as Ho language that is of Austroasiatic language family.
Moreover, these Ho tribes of West Bengal
maintain their heritage of tradition and ethnicity, leaving a mark of their exclusivity. As far as the physical stature of these Ho tribes are concerned, they are quite sturdy and string, making these Ho tribes to stand apart from other tribal communities who are thronging the region. Ho tribes have sharp intelligence and courage and are also evident in their lifestyle.
These Ho tribes are mainly farmers. Ho cultural exuberance of this tribal community is explicit in diverse festivals, fairs customs and rituals. Dancing and singing too are part and parcel of these festival festivities. Special drinks and foods are being served which is a must for these celebrations. The Ho tribes use their provisions of rice in order to make a special beer mainly during festival seasons. The Ho people celebrate different festivals along with Mage Porob, which is a dancing festival. This is celebrated in the month of Magh. In this festival, people from other villages come and participate in the dance programme. They also celebrate Salui Puja, Makar Sankranti, Sohrai, Karama and Akshaya Trutiya.
The Ho people are religious minded. They believe in different gods and goddesses. Their religion is to some extent similar to some other tribes of West Bengal like Mundas, Oraons, Santals etc. Their supreme deity is Sin Bonga. Apart from paying reverence to this deity, they also believe in Hindu gods
and goddesses. Deuri, their village priest performs their religious rituals. These people also believe in evil spirits and `Deona` is employed to keep the evil spirits at bay.
Ho tribes build their houses with mud and straw. Their roofs are thatched roofs. They design their simple houses by creating brilliant designs on the walls. The men and women of this community wear very minimal dress. The women prefer to wear tribal jewelleries.