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Basic Idea On Tribes of Orissa

The term “tribe” refers to a type of society and designates a stage of evolution in human society. The English term tribe comes from the Latin tribes designating a particular kind of social and Political organization existing in all these societies. However in Indian context the term tribe refers to the indigenous Janas. They are commonly designated as Adivasi (Original Settlers), Girijan (Hill-dwellers) Vanyajati (Forest caste),  Adimajati (Primitive castes) Jan jati (Folk Communities) and Anusuchit Jan jati (Scheduled Tribes). In Orissa the term Adivasi is commonly used for the tribes.

Orissa is the homeland of 62 different tribal communities which constitute 22.43 % of the total population of Orissa. And these tribal people express their cultural identity and distinctiveness in their social organization, Language, rituals and festivals and also in their dress, ornamentation’s, art and craft. The tribes believe that their life and work is controlled by supernatural beings whose abode is around them in hills, forests, rivers and houses. Among tribes there are religious functionaries who cater their spiritual needs. Ceremony and festival of the tribes can be classified into two groups, that is those that relate to the individual families as whole and those that relate to the village as a whole. the ceremonies and rites relating to the birth of a child, marriage, death and observed family wise, whereas those relating to various agricultural cycle eating of new fruits, hunting etc are observed by the village community .

Linguistically the tribes of the India are broadly classified into four categories, namely 1) Indo Aryan Speaker 2) Dravidian Speakers 3) Tibeto –Burmese Speakers and 4) Austric Speakers. There are four hundred tribal languages (387 Tribes Available all Over India), which means that most of the tribes have their own languages. So in majority cases these languages are unwritten ones. In Orissa the speakers of the Tibeto –Burmese Language family are absent and there fore Orissa Tribes and there fore Orissan tribes belong to other three language families.

Considering the general features of their 1) eco-system 2) traditional economy 3) supernatural and Supernatural beliefs and practices, tribes of Orissa can be classified into 6 types such as Hunting type, Collecting-herder type, simple artisan type, hill & shifting cultivation type and settled agriculture type

Tribes of Orissa like Saura, Kondh, Bonda, and Paroja & Dhuruba are really unique for with traditional dress and ornamentation. Tribal women of Orissa (Both men and women in case of Dongariya Kondh Tribes) are very fond of ornaments very much like hairs pins, earrings, nose rings and head necklaces. The most colorful tribe of Orissa Bonda women use the beads to cover the upper part of body which makes looks them majestic with shaved hair and dress called Ringa with 02 feet long and 01 feet width with ornaments of aluminum like bangles, nose rings and anklets etc.

Most Important & Colourful Tribes of Orissa out of 62 Tribes:

North Orissa South Orissa.


Bhunjia (North West)








& Others











& Others

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