The Chodhara tribal community is divided in five sub divisions. Chodhara tribal community carries on conversation in the famous Chodri language which is a Bhil language. The origin of this Chodhara tribal community has got a rich history to back upon. It ahs been assumed that the Chodhara tribal community transferred to the southern provinces from Pavaghad due to the unduly pressure from the Muslim rulers who occupied the northern Gujarat.
By nature these Chodhara tribes are really very peace loving and use weapons only during hunting expeditions or at times of defense from the attacks of wild beasts or thieves. The interesting thing regarding the Chodhari tribal community is that they have discarded all the primitive customs and adapted Hindu rituals, thus brought about change in their livelihoods. These Chodhara tribes can even intermarry with those of superior classes and also take part in festivals of the Hindus who reside in near proximity.
Like several other tribal communities in the whole of the Indian subcontinent, the popular belief is that the Chodhara tribal community brought about social, moral, and health reforms. Under this many of the Chodhara tribes adapted the vegetarian food habits. Further it has been pointed out by the anthropologists that under the influence of reformative actions, division occurs within a group of people called Sargelas who usually taught that all products of nature are made by God and should be taken as food. These Sargelas influenced this Chodhari tribal community. With the change of time and the globalisation has introduced new food habits to the communities and nowadays, these Chodhari tribal communities have started consuming meat with ease.
In order to sustain their livelihood, maximum of this Chodhari tribal people have taken up the occupations of farming, thereby producing ample crops like cotton, vegetables, and rice. For the Chodhari tribal community, these are the main crops, which they give them for sale in the local markets. In lieu of these products, this Chodhari tribal community takes up several things necessary for day-to-day clothing, tools, and jewelry. Hunting, fishing, and collecting produce from the woods accomplish additional foods. The women and children of the Chodhari tribal community are also engaged, working for the richer landowners. It has been find out that the Chodhari craft artists including carpenters and weavers are well established than those people who have taken up farming as their profession.
Societal structure of this Chodhari tribal community follows the customs and practices of that of all the other tribal communities. Interestingly, these Chodhara tribes establish close links with all the Rajput clans. Marriage too has been held in high esteem by all the Chodhari tribal community. Generally, each and every members of this Chodhari tribal community marries within the same class. As per the custom, the Chodhari tribal people marry within the individual group and also have the permission to get married outside their own clans. In that matter also, the rule of monogamy is widely prevalent. Most obviously, the line of descent is through the lineage of the father. What is noteworthy is that the premarital intimacy is quite common amongst the Chodhari tribal community. Another peculiar way of marriage is also in vogue in the Chodhari tribal community. If a young couple desires to get married but cannot come up with the money for the bride price, it is quite frequent when the Chodhari lass decides to be 'willingly abducted' by the young man. This Chodhari tribal bride goes back home after quite a number of months and thus bet their marriage sanctioned from the society.
Dresses that this Chodhari tribal community wears are quite unique to look at. Unless and until one attains the puberty, this Chodhari tribal female are not being permitted to deck up in western and modern dresses.
The beauty of this Chodhari tribal female gets enhanced by their white and red striped cotton sarees. Also there are pretty long pieces of cloth, which these Chodhari females wrapped round the waist and also over one's shoulder. Chodhari tribal females also dress up in dark blue and white headscarves to ornate themselves. The Chodhari males too have set up their own style of dressing. In the manner of dressing, these Chodhari tribal males follow the Indian style. The men of this Chodhari tribal community prefer to wear 'Gandhi' caps with their usual dresses.
(Last Updated on : 25-09-2009)
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