According to the area of habitation Kandhas are classified into some classes namely Kutia, Malua /Malia, Dongria and Desia. The Kutia Kandhas are found mainly in Kotgarh, Tumudibandh and Belgarh area of Balliguda sub-division. The Dongria live in high lands of hilly area in the district. The dresses and costumes of the Kandhas are very simple. Ornaments like gold and silver necklaces, ear-rings, nose-rings are very popular. Colored beads are generally used to prepare necklaces. Agriculture is main occupation of the people of this tribe. They still practice primitive method of cultivation i.e. shifting cultivation. Turmeric, Ginger, Arrowroot and other spices are mainly produced here.
Fairs, festivals, music and dance form an important part of the culture of Kandha Tribes. Krahenda is a hunting and warrior dance popular among this tribal group. Drums and flutes are the instruments used. Danda Nata and Loar-Enda are other popular tribal sance of the district. Silver coin chains, bangles and a musical instrument known as Dheka are used for performance. The popular fairs and festivals of Kandhamal District include Mati Puja, Kandula Jatra, Balli Jatra, Rhas Jatra, Kali Puja, Dussehra, Shivaratri, Ratha Yatra, Thakurani Yatra, Laxmi Puja, Danda Nata, Baruni Yatra, Kendu Yatra and more.
Art and Craft forms a rich part of the culture of Kandhamal District. The various forms of art and craft are as follows -
Dokra Art: This art form is very popular in this district; it is made up of brass.
Terracotta Art: Another popular art form of the region.
Cane and bamboo craft: Cane and bamboo work is found throughout the district.
Stone Craft: This form of art is mainly found in Pusangia where stone ornaments are prepared.
Weaving: Handloom weaving is commonly practiced in the district.
Hence, it is quite clear that the culture of Kandhamal District is enriched with diverse forms of art and craft, indigenous traditions and beliefs of the tribal people.
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