Dhodia tribe form one of the most significant portions of the population of this part of the nation and constitute about 16.90% of the total populace and are believed to be related to the Bhils. Dhodia is the language spoken by the Dhodias, who feel they are culturally superior to the Bhils. Unlike, Bhils, they do not employ bows and arrows. They are polygamous and purchase their wives even prior to the age when they attain maturity. Dhodias follow many customs which are similar to that of the Hindus, like Raksha Bandhan. They are clad in attractive costumes and jewels made of coloured stones and beads and dwell in thatched huts made of bamboo.
Like Dhodias, the Dubla tribes are also associated to the Bhils and are found in the northern parts of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and communicate with each other with the aide of Dubla language, which is a Bhil language. Generally, they are short and are dark complexioned. They work as servants, casual labourers, landless labourers and other such jobs and are categorised into numerous sub-groups wherein the highest rank is said to be that of the 'Talavias'. Dublas are very sociable and love residing in close-knit social clusters. They prefer staying in tiny thatched huts which are composed of mud. A majority of Dublas follow Hinduism. Local men wear 'dhotis' and shirts while womenfolk wear knee-length sarees and ornaments.
The main occupation of the Kathodi tribes is said to be agriculture, but since there is a lack of adequate land holdings in this region, they render service as labourers in the lands belonging to other people. These tribals practise several types of music and dance, and believed to be peace-loving individuals who lead a reserved life. Kathodi tribes reside in the local forests and are engaged in the vocation of making 'katha' or 'catechew'. They are known to follow their own traditions and cultures.
Koknas form about 16.85% of the population of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and have settled near the foothills of the Western Ghats. Agriculture is one of their important occupations and they cultivate paddy. They are followers of Hinduism and celebrate festivals like Diwali , Kaali Puja, Akhatrij and also worship 'Graam Devi', who is the main presiding deity of the tribal villages of this portion of India. Body art, in the form of tattoos are used by Koknas. Kokna women wear jewelleries and saris and the men wear dhotis which reach till their knees, along with a turban on their heads and a shirt or a waistcoat. Singing and dancing are some of their favourite hobbies. They perform the harvest dance of 'Tarpa' during September.
Like the Kokna tribes, Naika tribes of this place work as farm labourers in the lands belonging to other people due to the absence of proper landholdings here, even though agriculture is the main occupation of these people. They also make frequent attempts to seek other types of jobs. Handicrafts, folklore, music and dance are integral parts of the Naika tribes of Dadra and Nagar Haveli. They are dependent on the forests for earning their livelihood and are generally shy.
The Varli tribes constitute about 62.94% of the total population of this area and represent the members of Scheduled Tribes of India. They are Hindus and are followers of Hinduism, and practise the various rites and rituals of this religion which include Bhawada, Diwali as 'Barash', Kali Puja and offer prayers to the presiding deity or 'Graam Devi' of the villages.
Varli men wear turbans on their heads, a loincloth and a waistcoat while the womenfolk are clad in 'Lugden', 'Padar' and adorn themselves with white metal jewels as well as silver jewelleries.
(Last Updated on : 29-11-2013)
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