Tribes of Madhya Pradesh - Informative & researched article on Tribes of Madhya Pradesh
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Tribes of Madhya Pradesh
Tribes of Madhya Pradesh represent the culture of their state. In the state of Madhya Pradesh the Jhabua district has the highest density of tribal population.
More on Tribes of Madhya Pradesh (15 Articles)
 Tribes of Madhya Pradesh have preserved their culture and tradition despite outside cultural influence. Their culture is distinguished by the composite remains of the Scythian and Dravidian culture. The tribes of Madhya Pradesh are widely oriented towards religion and spiritualism. Their prevalent religion is Animism. Although under the influence of modern day trends and tradition, these tribes in the state of Madhya Pradesh even adopt other religious practices namely Christianity, Jainism and Islam. Quite a number of tribes of this state have also taken up the religious practice of Hinduism. The tribal population of Madhya Pradesh has carried on the practice of farming and cultivation. In order to supplement their income, some of these tribal groups become labourers in factories, industries etc.

The south and the south-eastern parts of the state of Madhya Pradesh have the largest concentration of the tribal population, which is, in fact, an expansion of the major tribal habitation zone of central India. It further stretches out to the western part of the state including Jhabua district, Dhar district, Barwani district and Khargone district. The tribes of Madhya Pradesh live in the primitive stage and far away from the main stream of the development. Mostly, they live in the forests and are fully dependent on the forest products, herbs, wood, etc. for their livelihood. Besides, some tribal communities are working with agricultural fields as a landless labour or some have agricultural land. The habitats of the tribal people are scattered and made of bamboo and grasses on the hills, hill slopes and forests.

Major Tribes of Madhya Pradesh
Bhaina tribe is one of the most ancient tribe which has resided mainly in the forest areas. These tribal groups are reckoned as scheduled tribes and are found in the Bilaspur District which is presently included in the state of Chhattisgarh. Bharia tribe is found in the Patalkot valley and its adjoining areas in this state. The people of this tribal community are known for their usage of medicinal plants to treat different kinds of diseases.

Binjhwar tribe, another tribal group of the state of Madhya Pradesh has mainly settled down in numerous districts of the state, including Bastar district, maintaining a very good rapport with all the tribes of Madhya Pradesh. The costumes of this tribal community deserve appraisal and the people of this group are adept in making jewellery from cane, grass or beads. Sometimes the tribes also use silver as a metal.

Gond tribe stands first in terms of population not only in the state but also among the other major tribes of India. They are mainly found in Vindhyan hills and Satpura mountain range. The main sub-tribes of Gond are Pardhan, Agariya, Ojha, Nagarchi, etc. Gond tribal people mostly live in the jungle and hills. The Gond inhabitants are working in agricultural fields and hunting. They collect wild fruits and herbs from the jungle for their livelihood.

Bhil tribe is third largest tribes in India and second one in Madhya Pradesh. The habitat of Bhil tribes is found mostly in Dhar district, Jhabua district and West Nimar district. The sub-races of this tribe are Barela, Bhilala, Pataliya, etc. They follow Hinduism and worship Lord Shiva, Lord Rama, Lord Ganesha and Lord Hanuman. At the time of Holi festival, they celebrate 'Goal Gadhera' festival. Kol caste mainly inhabits Rewa division and Jabalpur district of the state. They are also called Kolerian and Mundari tribes. The sub-races of this tribe are Rohiya and Rothail. They are mainly engaged in agriculture.

Another tribe of Madhya Pradesh is the Boneya tribe and they are also identified in different names like Bondeya, Korki, Kurku, Bopchi, Ramekhera, Kuri, Kurku-Ruma and form a major part of Madhya Pradesh.

Damaria tribes, has got an enriched heritage of cultural embellishment as highlighted in wedding rites, dwellings, clothes, etc. This tribal group shares a close affinity with the Rajputs and exhibit brilliance in art and craft. In Madhya Pradesh, the Dhanwar tribe has taken up several occupations namely hunting, food collectors and also workers. They lead nomadic lives and rear cattle. This tribal group has developed its own cotton industry its own betterment.

One of the known tribes in this state is the Kawar tribe and they are thought to have descended from the family line of the Kaurava rulers. Another tribal group of this state is the Kharwar tribe. As per some scholars, they fall into the Dravidian family group, there are famous myths regarding their growth and origin. Some hold that this tribal group has a kinship with Suryavanshi Rajputs. A multitude of Kolam tribe, also identified as Kolamboli, Kulme and Kolmi, has settled down in every corner of the state of Madhya Pradesh. As per their past history, these Kolam tribes even worked as priests in the 12th Century. They are engaged in food collection, farming, etc. in order to meet their regular need.

Majhi tribe makes boat in order to sustain their livelihood. They have got identifiable Mongoloid features and are the practitioners of Tantrik religion. The Majhwar tribe celebrates various colourful festivals throughout the year in the state of Madhya Pradesh. They also celebrate different festivals which enrich the whole of the state. Another is the Mina tribe which has settled down in various places of the region and also has got an inheritance of festivals, fairs, dancing and also singing. Their earlier history portray that they were the descendants of the Matsya incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Apart from these there are some other tribal communities who dwell in the region namely the Pao tribe and Saharia tribe. This tribe inhabits in Shivpuri district and Morena district. Saharia tribes mainly worship of Goddess Durga. A majority of these Pao tribes are thought to have originated from a good-willed dragon that also safeguards these tribes at times of need. Mouth-watering dishes, multihued festivals as well as variety of religious exercises are what enable the ritual and culture of these Saharia tribes. The society of this tribe is divided in several sub groups.

Fairs and Festivals of Tribes of Madhya Pradesh
The fairs of the tribes of Madhya Pradesh display a colourful spectacle with the celebration by the entire community. Dancing and singing are not limited to a selected few. With the building up of tempo, spectators start to join spontaneously. Every year these tribal groups celebrate variety of festival with lots of merry making, dancing and singing. Exquisite dresses both for males and females have become the style marks of these tribes.

(Last Updated on : 03/08/2011)
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