(Last Updated on : 28/10/2009)
Kinnaura tribal community has been considered to be one of the Scheduled tribes of the state of Himachal Pradseh as per the provision of the Constitution of India. This tribe is also known by the name of Kinor. The exact location of this tribal community has been traced though they are found in almost all corner of Himachal Pradesh
. In the western Himalayas, this Kinnaura tribal community is found in Baspa or Sangla valley that is located in high altitude of the Kinnaur district. Other regions where these Kinnaura tribes are located include Batseri or Bosering, Rakchham and Chhitkul.
As per some scholars, the people of Kinnaura tribal community are the descendants of Kinners of Mahabharata
. Another group holds that Kirats are the ancestors of this tribal group. The history says that the Kirats, defeated buy the Khasaas and Aryans
fled away and came to inhabit in the lands of Trans Himalayan areas. This is the reason behind the resemblance of physical features of the people of Kinnaura tribal community with the Aryans and Mongoloid races. This obviously establishes the fact these Kinnaura tribal community too have been descended from the Indo- Aryan tribal groups, also called Mongolians.
The family structure of the Kinnaura tribes is joint family and the notable custom of this tribal group is their marriage. According to their custom, the brothers in a family share only one wife. This kind of marriage is known as Pandava marriage in their society.
Though the main occupation of the Kinnaura tribes are raising wool and rearing sheep, some are also engaged in horticulture and agriculture. The culture of this tribal group maintains the ethnicity and this Kinnaura tribal community is ennobled as depicted in all the elements of culture and tradition. Dancing, singing, festivals and languages - all these bore witnesses of their cultural exuberance. During their occasions and festivals they consume a special kind of drink known as 'Angoori'. The language of this tribal group is known as Kinnauri language. Moreover, under the influence of the tribal communities of Indian subcontinent, this Kinnaura tribal community has developed fluency in Hindi language
. Amongst this Kinnaura tribal community, there are Bhoti speakers also.
These Kinnaura tribes have the tradition of maintaining herds of cattle in their houses. Women of this Kinnaura tribal community are quite hardworking. Weaving is practiced mainly by the female groups of this community. This Kinnaura tribal community produces exquisite baskets and other utensils, which have got demand not only on the local markets but also in the entire nation. The women also work in fields.
The costumes of the male Kinnaura tribe include long coats or chubha and woolen pyjamas which are known as chamu sutan. The women wear a kind of woolen saree which is called Dhoru. They wear shoes made of goat hair and wool and capes called Bushahri.