(Last Updated on : 10-10-2009)
Parhaiya tribe of Bihar state is known for the unique lifestyle and culture. The Parhaiya is one of the scheduled tribes of the state mainly located in districts like Gumala, Palamau, Hazaribagh, Santhal Pargana and Gaya. These Parhaiya tribes do not have separate villages to live in. Rather they share the space with all the other tribes and maintain a cordial relation with all of them.
Society of these Parhaiya tribes follows the trend of the common tribal community of India. In case of marriage, Parhaiya people practice monogamy. Bigamy is also permissible. However Levirate marriage and premarital relations within the lineage group are not allowed. Marriage might also take place between boys and girls of two lineages but in general it is not permitted. Generally, they pursue village exogamy. General way of getting bride is done in lieu of paying price to the bride and also through the approval of parents of both the bride and groom. Also instances of the marriage by exchange, elopement service and love may also be cited.
Birth is regarded as very joyous occasion in the society of the Parhaiya. It makes the couple fertile and washes the strain of barrenness forever. It enhances the status of the husband and the wife as father and mother.
Just like any other tribal communities of Indian Territory the main occupation of these Parahiya tribal communities is mainly cultivation, including lac farming. Quite a number of Parhaiya tribes are there who survive on the resources that these Parhaiya tribes have gathered from the dense forests. People of the Parhaiya tribes, especially the women, carry on the practice of weaving beautiful baskets and clothes. That these Parhaiya are very much religious minded and this can be revealed from the fact they have developed belief on gods and goddesses. Worship of spirits, mainly, the ancestral spirits, are quite popular amongst the pious Parhaiya tribes.
For better controlling and administration, these Parhaiya tribes have adapted the typical system of Panchayat. The head of the village of these Parhaiya tribes also is in the top rank in the whole system and is better known as 'Mahato'. The name of his assistant is called Khato and also all the other people of each and every people of Parhaiya family are the members.