(Last Updated on : 02/07/2011)
Tribes of Orissa are about seven milling in the state. The total number of tribes living in the state of Orissa is much more than other places in India. Some districts have vast presence of tribal population while some of the other districts of Orissa hold a small number of tribal. Rayagada District
and Naurangpur are some of the district of Orissa where more than fifty percent of the total population is tribal. There are very few tribes who are in a better economic condition in this state and are suitable mingled in the society, whereas several other tribes of Orissa spend a totally secluded life.
There are sixty two tribal communities in the state of Orissa
and among these tribal communities the name of Saora tribe
(or Sabar) is mentioned in the great Hindu epic of Mahabharata
. The tribes of Orissa belong to three linguistic divisions, are namely Dravidian, Indo-Aryan and Austric. The tribes of Orissa have the tendency to build their houses with bamboo
and thatched roofs.
Major Tribes of Orissa
The major tribes of Orissa are Bonda Poraja tribe
which has the tradition of following the practice of elopement at times of marriage. Another tribal community, Bagata tribe
considered to be one of the native tribes, conversing with each other in Adivasi Oriya language. Chenchu tribe
resides in a special village, known as Penta, clubbed together on kinship basis. Dal tribe
of the Orissa state follows the religion of Hinduism
, also practicing rituals and rites of the same religion. Dharua tribe
lives specially in the Malkangiri district
Occupation of Orissa Tribes
A majority of the Orissa tribes take up occupations to sustain livelihood like gathering, hunting and fishing. Tribal communities residing in the hilly areas of Orissa are adept in shifting cultivation. They are also engaged in handicraft industries or mills. Gadaba tribe
and Bondo tribe possess their own looms and they are engaged in making clothes for regular use. Moreover, tribal people like Loharas and Mohali have mastered the art of creating tool making and basket weaving. Oran, Munda, Santhals and Ho have switched to the factories, industrial occupations and works in mines.
Society of Orissa tribes
The tribal communities of Orissa regard marriage as an important institution. Several rites and rituals that are associated with it are feted with lots of joy and fervency.
The tribal communities of Orissa are very much religious minded, widely practicing religion like animism, animalism, nature-worship, fetishism, shamanism, and anthropomorphism. The tribes of Orissa also worship their ancestors. Their local and tribal deities are worshipped by sacrificing animals. The tribal people are superstitious and they take the `Ojha` of their community seriously to get rid of evil spirits.
Festivals of tribes of Orissa
The tribal people of Orissa follow a huge number of festivals including the birth ceremony, harvesting, marriage, sowing, etc with their tribal dance and songs. In these festivals they enjoy Mahua liquor. The well-known festivals of the tribes of Orissa are Push parab and Chaita parab.
Tribal costume of Orissa
The tribal men of Orissa usually wear loin clothes whereas women use a lengthy cloth material that they wrap around themselves. Women of certain tribes also wear a scarf on their head. Almost all women decorate themselves with ornaments, bracelets, necklaces made of aluminium
and brass. Girls above the age of 5 are seen with tattoos on their faces.
There are various other tribal communities in Orissa who serve a lot to develop the cultural life of the tribes of Orissa. Several districts of Orissa, namely Puri district
, Kalahandi district
, etc are hubs of Holva tribe
. Some tribal people namely the Jatapu tribe
speaks their indigenous language and Oriya language
. Bnadhu and Kotumba are the two distinctive totemic clans of Juang tribe
. Orissa comprises Parenga tribe
, Paroja tribe
, Saora tribe
, Sitha Khanda tribe
, Sounti tribe
and Tadvi tribe
. Among them Saora tribes, amidst their rich heritage ennobles the ethnicity of Orissa and Sabar tribe
is one of the primitive tribes of the Indian subcontinent, also known to many as Kariya.