(Last Updated on : 09-10-2009)
Bathudis are one of the different sub castes of Bhuniyas and they are scattered in different parts of North Bihar, Singbhum and Manbhum. Bathudi tribes reside in the heartland of the state of West Bengal. Maximum of these Bathudi tribes dwell in houses that are being prepared from mud walls and also thatched roofs. They used to beautify their walls with multi colored flowery designs. The dresses of these Bathudi tribal communities are simple, yet, scanty. Males usually dress up in coarse dhoti made up from cotton.
The women dress up in beautiful sari and usually they have got preference for different colours like orange. Silver ornaments are special attraction of all the Bathudi females. Just like many of the tribes of the Indian subcontinent, tattooing is also famous among Bathudi tribes especially amongst the females. They used to call this art tattooing as Khada. According to the tradition of these Bathudi tribes, they used to follow a special custom of drawing floral tattoos on their foreheads or arms, just before getting married. The costumes of the Bathudi women include different ornaments made of thread, seeds, steel, brass, glass etc.
Marriage is an institution in the society of these Bathudi tribes. Their marriage ceremony usually takes place either in the house of the bride or that of the groom. The whole population of the Bathudi tribes held these marriage ceremonies with lots of enthusiasm and jubilance. The Bathudi community is classified into different totemic clans. The Bathudi tribes follow clan exogamy. The people of this community restrict intra clan marriages and allow inter clan marriages and widow marriages.
Most of the Bathudi tribes converse with each other in Bihari language. However there are quite few who also can carry on conversation in other Indian languages like Oriya etc. Only a handful of Bathudi tribes have taken up few Ho as their mother tongue. The Bathudi people take up occupations like fishing, hunting birds, forest produce and agriculture. Some work as labourers. The economy of the Bathudi people depend on the products they sell in their local market called 'haat'.
These Bathudi tribes are also very pious and have got faith on religion and spiritualism Most of them are Hindus and they worship all the Hindu gods
and goddesses with great reverence. Among the village deities that they revere Sundura Gouri, Basuli, and Hatiani etc are significant. All their images are in the shape of blocks of stone. In several villages of the Bihari districts, these deities are worshipped. There are several sacred centres in and around the Bathudi village. The people of this community offer vermillion, flowers and sun fried rice to the deities. The Bathudi are also believers of witch craft and spirits. The people of this community call for Ojha to keep way the witches and evil spirits.
What is significant is to note that these Bathudi tribes have nicely adopted the trends of the contemporary society. Their influences are mostly being reflected in various cultural elements such as in the outlook of the people, their dresses and also in several habits of the Bathudi tribes. However, the populaces who reside in the distant villages have been able to preserve their original custom and practices till date.
Bathudi tribal community celebrates different festivals like Asari Puja, Dhulia Puja, Purnima, Makar Shankranti, Bandana Puja, Shitla Puja, and Shivaratri. Sacrifices are made by the village priest, Deahri, to appease these deities. Festivals like Holi
, Ramnawami, Diwali and Durga Puja. The people of this community are basically the followers of Hindu religion and several Hindu gods and goddesses are worshipped by them like Lord Shiva
, Shitla, and Lord Hanuman