A large number of Tribal communities inhabiting different parts of our country (India) and out of that orissa is prosperous with 62 different tribal communities. The cultural heritage of any tribal society is built on its age-old customs and traditions.
In the context of changing scenario in the tribal world, here we present the tradition and customs of 11 (Eleven) culturally significant tribal communities of Odisha (Orissa) such as The Bonda, the Gadhava, The Kutia Kondh, the Dongaria kondh, the Lanjia Saora, the Santal, the Juang, the Paudi Bhumiya, the Chakatia Bhujia, the Munda, the Paraja at their isolated villages , colorful weekly markets, their festivals and overall it is the perfect tribal tour itinerary of odisha (orissa) for ethnic culture lovers
Duration of tour: 15 Day/14 Nights (Week end to weekend)
Destination cover: Bhubaneswar- choudwar- Dhenkanal- Keonjhar – Sambalpur- Balangir – Bhavanipatna- Baliguda- Gunupur- Rayagada- Jeypore- Visakhapatnam
Suggested Tour itinerary:
Day 1: (Sat)-Bhubaneswar-Choudwar (1. 20hr drive+ visit)
Upon arrival Bhubaneswar airport/ railway station meet our representative .Bhubaneswar is a capital city of orissa and also major airport and railway station of the state. By road drive towards Choudwar, check in nice heritage haveli at KilaDalijoda/ Choudwar
Day 2: (Sun)-Choudwar- Saura Village- Munda tribal village- Choudwar (2.15 hr drive+ visit)
Early start your journey to hike (flat land/ 2hr total) the very isolated saura tribal village in the core jungle area.
Afternoon visit the most interesting Munda tribes at their village.
Day 3: (Mon)-Santal Village-Joranda -Dhenkanal(3hr drive+visit)
Meet the Santal Tribe at their village (hiking 1hr total) . Explore their life style and culture afternoon meet the Mahima sadhus at their monastery .
Day 4: (Tue)-Dhenkanal – Paudi Bhumiya village- Keonjhar (6hr drive+visit)
Meet Paudi bhumiya tribes in at their isolated village in core jungle of Kamakhyanagar range/ excursion their culture
Day 5: (Wed)-Keonjhar- Bhumij , Kolha and Santal tribal villages- Keonjhar (4hr drive+Visit)
Morning drive towards Bhumij, Kolha and santal villages in the core jungle of Mayurbhanj area and full day excursion at there, if permit enjoy the hygienic cooked organic food at the santal village with the help of local (if you desire, its optional) evening back to Hotel.
Day 6: (Thur)-Keonjhar- Juang tribal village- Sambalpur (5hr drive+Visit)
Morning after breakfast drive towards Sambalpur , and enroute visit the Juang tribal village in the core of Gonasika jungle range.
Day 7: (Fri)-Sambalpur- Textile village at Barpali area- Balangir (3hr drive+Visit)
To covering the distance and excursion the culture of western Odisha This day we cover the traditional weaving village in Barpali area . During the tribal dance special costume is very necessary so This day to touch the route of culture visit the Textile village weaving where still today the whole villager use the same hand made traditional weaving technique called ” Bandha” (double tie and dye by hand) meet the national award winner weavers and excursion their unique of live weaving and also nice ethnic weaving village near Balangir area too.
Day 8: (Sat)-Balangir- Chaukathia Bhunjia tribal village- Bhavanipatna (6hr drive+Visit)
Early drive towards Nuapada area , meet the most colorful Chaukathia Bhunjia tribes at their non tourist isolated village in Nuapada jungle range.
Note- this particular tribal community has continue very strictly their own rule at their village so before photography please consult with your tour guide.
Day 9: (Sun)-Bhavanipatna- Kutia tribal village- Gunupur (4hr drive+Visit)
Meet the Kutia Kondh (tattoo faced) tribes at their isolated village of Kondhmal area while hiking (1 hr). Then check in a clean comfort hotel at Gunupur.
Overnight – Gunupur
Day 10: (Mon)- Lanjia Saura Tribal village- Rayagada (6hr drive+Visit)
Excursion the Lanjia Saura Tribe at their village and weekly market at Puttasingh jungle range. (high hill jungle but all weather motorable road)
Lanjia Saura: one of the most colourful tribe not only of our state but also our country. The only Aryan tribe of the state. Famous for their four special thing such as they use wood plug on the ear lob, their special tail shaped dress material ( they called lanja- that why they called lanjia saura), terrace cultivation , special mural dream painting they called idital. After full day excursion return back to Rayagada for overnight stay.
Day 11: (Tue)-Dongaria Kondh tribal village/ Weekly market- Desia kondh village- Rayagada (4hr drive+ visit)
Meet the most colorful Dongaria kondh at their isolated village of Devgiri jungle range. also excursion their culture at their weekly market.
Pm- Meet the Desia Kondh tribes at their isolated village. Excrusion their culture
Desia kondh village- on the top of high hill and lush green forest ( but that unique village has all weather motorable road) while hiking their village excursion their lifestyle.
Day 12: (Wed)-Kuvi kondh Tribal village – Mali tribal Village-Boraparaja tribal village- Jeypore ( 4hr drive+ visit)
Meet the Kuvi kondh tribe at their village in Kumbhikotta jungle range, Meet Mali tribe at their isolated village in Lendrimaliguda jungle zone/ (it desire cooked lunch at Mali village cheap home, optional)
Afternoon meet one of the colorful tribal community Boraparaja at their village in Koraput jungle range.
Day 13: (Thur)-Bonda tribal market- Ollar Gadhava tribe village-Rana Tribe village-Jeypore(6hr drive+Visit)
Early departure to meet the most colorful tribe Bonda at their weekly market and then colorful Olar Gadhava tribe at their village
Gadhava tribe- they are special for their dress material called keranga and their house making style, visit their worship place, meeting place etc. (enjoy their Dhemsa group dance at their isolated village,) and hiking the rana tribe in the lush green forest area then drive towards Jeypore check in a nice hotel at Jeypore.
Day 14: (Fri)- Pottery making village-Sano paraja tribal village- Kunduli- Visakhapatnam(5hr drive+Visit)
Morning after breakfast check out departure towards Visakhapatnam , enroute visit the most ancient pottery village where the group of pottery making family busy with their traditional work. Meet also sano paraja at their village, enjoy their special tech. Bagad dove.Meet the Paraja, rana & Mali tribes at their grand colorful weekly market at Kunduli.
Day 15: (Sat)-Departure (30 min. drive+Visit)
Morning after breakfast check out and departure for Visakhapatnam airport board the flight for your onwards destination.
Note: For more detail description and real pictures of different tribal community with best package price please feel free to contact us.
The Santal Tribe:
The Santals have got their own dialect known as Santali which is said to be one of the oldest languages of India. This belongs to the Munda group within the Austro- Asiatic sub-family of the Austric family of languages. At present most of them speak and understand Oriya language.
The Santal society is well known for its division into twelve patrilineal exogamous clans, the names of which are occasionally used as surnames by the respective members of the group.
They live in spacious houses with a front and back verandah. The houses are clean and the walls are generally decorated with various artistic paintings in different colours.
Use of alcoholic drink is very common among them. Rice-beer is their traditional drink which is extensively used on the occasion of festivals and socio-religious ceremonies. They prepare this drink at home and purchase Mahua liquor from the local vendors.
They observe Karama festival and Makar Sankranti elaborately. Celebration of socio-religious ceremonies like birth, marriage and death are marked by dancing, singing and drinking.
The Pauri Bhuyans Tribe:
Pauri Bhuyans of Orissa come under the category of PVTG on the basis of the parameters laid by the Govt. of India (article 342, Constitution of India). Pauri Bhuyans identify themselves as a sub-group of the larger group, Bhuyan tribe. Bhuyans are also known in different names like Bhuiyas,Bhumia, Bhuinya. The name is derived from Sanskrit word ‘Bhumi’ meansland, for which ‘Bhuyans’ define themselves as “Son of the soil” (Roy 1953).While the Bhuyans’ own version of the studied villages about the origin of their name depicts that “Bhuyan” means “owner of land”, which is furtherexplained that Bhuyans were landholders. And Pauri (Pauri means people from hills and mountain) Bhuyan is defined as the Bhuyans belonging to Hillsand Mountains. Pauri Bhuyans define themselves as people of high socialstatus. As they say, their ancestors were strong and powerful people.
The Juang Tribe:
The Juangs believe that in ancient times their tribe emerged from earth on the hills of Gonasika where the river Baitarani has its source, not far from the village Honda in Keonjhar. In their language the word “Juang” means man. In other words, man emerged from the earth at the same place where the river Baitarani emerged. The Juang also refer to themselves as patra-savaras(patra means leaf). By this they mean that they are that branch of the Savara tribe whose members used to dress themselves in leaves.
In the Juang society, the village is the largest corporate group with formally recognized territory. Within the delineated land boundaries they possess their land both for settled and shifting cultivation and the village forests for exploitation . They shift their village sites frequently as they consider it inauspicious to live at a particular place for a longer period.
Each Juang village is marked by the presence of a dormitory known as Majang where their traditional dance takes place and the village panchayat sits. It also serves as a guest-house for the visitors to the village. The Pradhan who is the secular headman and the Nagam or Boita or Dehuri, the village priest constitute the traditional village panchayat of the tribe. A group of neighbouring villages constitute a pirh which is headed by a Sardar who decides inter-village disputes.
A Juang husband generally worships the “Sajana”(drum stick)tree if his wife turns out barren and gives her a paste made of “Sajana” flowers and seeds to eat or he ties a sevenfold cotton string with seven knots round his wife’s neck, believing this to be a kind of talisman which will cause conception. The Juangs do not allow their pregnant women to go to “Devisthan”. She must not tie up any thing ,must not weave mat or plaster a house with mud.
The Juang life is marked by the celebration of a number of religious festivals in honour of their gods and goddesses. They believe in the existence of spirits and ghosts.
They observe different animist festival. All these occasions are marked by dancing and singing. They use a kind of drum known as changu at the time of dancing.
The Munda Tribe:
The Mundas wear a loin cloth with coloured borders called “botoi”. On special occasion they use a kind of silk belt called “Kardhani”. They cover the upper part of their body by a wrapper called “barkhi” which is about six yards long. A short variety about three yards long, called “pichouri” is also used by them. The women wear a long piece of cloth like a sari round the waist called “Puria” which they pass across the shoulder to cover their breast.
The women are fond of jewellery which is generally made of brass, silver or gold. They use bracelets, armlets, necklets, anklets, ear-rings, rings for fingers and ties. The women are fond of decorating their hair with flowers. They tattoo their face, chin, arm, head and feet. This practice is called “Sanga” in their language.
The mundas erect usually big memorial stones in the burial ground. After a memorial stone is erected, a sheep or goat is slaughtered near it and a feast held in which kinsmen partake of the meat and liquor.
The mundas worship their own tribal deities. “Sin Bonga” is their supreme deity who is responsible for their creations. They also believe in the existence of a number of spirits who are responsible for diseases and death.
Mundas are primarily agriculturists but some of them earn their livelihood as daily labourers. Collection of forest products is one of their subsidiary occupations. They sometimes migrate to distant places to work as labourers in mines, quarries etc.
The Bhunjia Tribe:
According to the tribe, the term “Bhunjia” means “growing out of land” or “origin from the earth”.
Bhunjias are divided into two main sections i.e. Chinda Bhunjia and Chaukhutia Bhunjia. The Chaukhutia Bhunjia are confined exclusively to the hills of the Sunabeda plateau in ecologically secluded areas for which they maintain distance from the outsiders. But the Chinda Bhunjia generally lives in the plains and have close contact with the tribal and non-tribal communities. The religious life of Bhunjia is very simple. They believe in many Gods and Goddesses who are worshipped in different months on different ritual occasions.
The Dongria Kondh Tribe:
In the remote mountainous wilderness of the Eastern Ghats region of South Orissa lives a fascinating Kuvi-speaking tribe called, the Dongria Kandha. They inhabit the lofty Niyamgiri hill ranges in the district of Rayagada. They stand apart from others for their famous Meria festival, expertise in horticulture and colorful dress, adornments and life style. For being the denizens of hills, forests and highlands (dongar), their neighbors name them Dongria. Dongria men and women are quite fashionable in their personal adornments, that makes them attractive and distinguish them from others. Dongria men put on a long and narrow piece of loin cloth and women use two pieces of cloth, each 3-4 ft. In length. Both men and women grow long hair. A wooden comb (kokuya) is fixed at the hair knot of men and women which adorns the hair-lock and keeps the hair tight. A tiny knife (pipli) with colorful thread balls at its metal handle, adorns the hair lock of women. Men and women put on aluminum neck rings, beads & coin necklaces (kekodika), finger rings. In addition to that women wear bangles, anklets, toe rings. Both men and women wear earrings and nose-rings.
The Bonda Tribe:
In the wild and remote mountainous country located towards the south-western tip of the Malkanigiri highlands lives a unique tribal community called- “Bonda”. The tribesmen identify themselves as “Remo” (man). Bonda speak a language of their own that belongs to the Austro- Asiatic (South Mundari) language group. Bonda men are brave and bold. They derive their identity from their arms, such as bow, arrows, long knife which they always carry and sago palm-wine which is their most favorite drink. The Bonda women with their clean-shaven head decorated with head bands of Palmyra strips and plaited fillets of caryota fibber. Mass of colorured beads and shell strings, brass neck rings and necklaces hanging down even below the navel and the brass bangles covering the whole of the lower arms are the typical ornamentation of the Bonda Women. A short and narrow strip of striped loin-cloth woven at home by a double-bar tensioned loom covering only the private parts comprises the woman’s wear.
The Kutia Kandha Tribe:
The Kutia Kandha is a section of the Kandha tribe found in Kandhmal and Kalahandi dist. (south central part) of Orissa. The tribesmen are known for their buffalo sacrifice ritual locally known as “Kedu” to worship their Earth Goddess- “Darni Penu”. They belong to the Proto-Australoid racial stock and shspeak a dialect their own called “Kui”, which belong to Dravidian language family. They worship large number of deities and spirits; the chief among them is Darni Penu, the Earth Goddess worship by the village headman called Majhi and the village priest is called Jani.
The Lanjia Saora Tribe:
The saoras are one of the most ancient tribes of India. Have a racial affinity with the Proto- Australoid stock, their dialect called Sora, comes under the Austro-Asiatic family of Munda group of languages. Lanjia Saora constitutes one of the primitive sections of the Saora tribe. They are so called by their neighbours strip of male loin cloth is worn in such a fashion that both the red embroidered ends hang down in front and back like a tail (Lanja). Their women greatly enlarge their ear lobes to wear rounded wooden pegs and have a characteristic tattoo mark down the middle of the forehead. Install the village deities represented by wooden posts at the entrance of the village. Have male and female shamans to serve their magico-religious needs. Famous for their attractive wall paintings,” IDITIAL”. Observe Guar, the secondary burial ritual to commemorate the dead by sacrificing buffaloes and by erecting menhirs.
The Gadaba Tribe:
Culture of the Gadaba, one of the prominent tribal communities of Orissa. The name; Gadaba has been derived from the word “Gada”, name of a brook in the Godavari valley. The tribe has Proto-Australoid origin. The Gadaba speak Mundari language, called Gutob belonging to Austro-Asiatic language family. The Gadaba men use a piece of cloth, called lenguthi with a flap, which hangs down in front. Women wear two pieces of cloths, each measuring about 5ft. By 2 ft. Called Keranga. The Gadaba girls/ women decorate their bodies with ornaments such as peculiar type of earrings, which are made out of brass or aluminum which hangs down from a hole in the ear that reaches the shoulder. Besides, they use ornaments, like rings (mudi) bangles made of brass. Their hair is neatly combed and fixed at the back by hairpins.