There are certain reasons which explain that the Baigas are a subdivision of the Bhuiya Tribe of Chotanagpur. Later they have adopted their name as Baiga when they migrated to the Central Province.
Legend associated with the Origin of Baiga
To add to their glory, the Baigas have a legend attached to their origin. According to the legend God had first created Nanga Baiga and Nagi Baigin. He had then given them the choice to select the occupation through which they would make their living. The two of them desired to live in the jungle by felling trees and led their lives by following this mode of occupation. Two sons were born to them. One of them remained as a Baiga and the other of them Gong and tilled the soil. The two brothers married their own two sisters. Each couple had their own children. The elder are regarded as the ancestors of Baigas while the younger couple became the descendants of the Gonds and of other human race. The other version of the legend says that the first Baiga that cut down two thousand sal trees in a day, god then advised him to sprinkle few grants of kutki on the ashes and then retire and go for a deep slumber for few months. When he would get up he will be able to reap rich harvest. This way the method of shifting cultivation was initiated. According to another story the the Nanga Baigs and the Nagi Baigin lived on a hill. They would sometimes suspend from their houses a bamboo mat tied up to a pole which would represent a flag. They had seen it once being attached in the palace of a Baiga king.
It is sometimes considered that the original habitat of the Baigas may have the Chattisgarh Plain and the hills surrounding it. Many estates of the hills are owned by the landowners of the tribes who are offshoots of the Baigas like the Bhainas and the Binjhwars. They have been first observed by the English officers of the nineteenth century. Their villages were found to be located in far off places from the cultivated country. No roads or well built paths connected them with the rest of the country or other inhabited places. They settled in small huts safely hidden from others. They are rarely seen except when approached closely or visited by some outsider.
(Last Updated on : 28-04-2011)
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