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Maharashtra Tribals

The Nomadic tribes in the state of Maharashtra are 73.18 lakhs in number according to the census done in 1991. These tribes are mainly found in the hilltops but are spread throughout Maharashtra. The major tribes which can be found in Maharashtra are Gond-Madia, Bhil, Koli, Warli, Katkari and Oraon and follow the primitive characters. They move about in caravans from one place to another and search for livelihood.

The tribes of Maharashtra are the primitive ones, following the old traditions and can be found in every part of the state. They are mostly found in the hilly areas but their wandering has made them become noticeable all over the state. They come under the category of Scheduled Tribes according to the government of India. The cultural aspects of these tribes have enriched the culture of Maharashtra in a way. The heritage of these tribal groups is unique which can be seen by observing their dress, dialect, practices, rites etc.

One can easily make out how different they are from other social groups and their rich culture makes them different and noticeable in a crowd as well. Their customs, dress, dialect etc is also very different from the usual. They still follow the old traditions where the nature is worshipped in different forms. The animals are also sacrificed when a religious ceremony takes place.

Since these tribes of Maharashtra keep wandering between places, the lack of education can be seen among them. This lack of education in the tribe makes it difficult to survive in this competitive world. This leads to a cycle where they are left with no option, but to wander around to survive. Their fitting in the society becomes a little difficult for them because of their lack of education. These people stay in temporary houses and move from one place to another in search of work. Thousands of families go through this and have to do it because there is no way out.

Lifestyle of Maharashtra Tribes

The tribes of Maharashtra had the tradition of wandering around in search of work, which has lead to lack of education in them. They seem to be trapped in a vicious cycle where their survival in the settled society becomes difficult because of lack of education. They are forced to search for work. Thousands of families belong to the tribes and stay in temporary houses, as they have to wander from one place to another.

They are the primitive tribes who have adopted the primitive way of living. They are dependent upon firewood, grass, timber etc to carry on their day-to-day activities. These tribes are organized into small villages that have a chief head of the tribe or elder of the village heading the village. All the disputes in the village are solved by the chief as they have the legal authority of the same.

The main survival option for Gond is hunting, farming, eating the fruits from the grove and by selling the cattle as well. Some have wage earning jobs and get the clothes and the jewels from the neighboring groups. In this tribe, the people do not marry within their clans and they prefer cross cousin marriages. They also keep multiple spouses.

The paining style of the tribe is unique and cannot be found anywhere else in the country. They do not only pain on paper, but also wall and floor painting is very common among them. These paining are made for ritualistic purposes as well as to spread peace and purity in their surroundings.

Culture of Maharashtra Tribes

The life and culture of the Nomads have been adapted by the tribes of Maharashtra. The originality of this tribe is intact until date, which makes them unique from the other tribes. The number of nomadic tribes in the state of Maharashtra is 313 and there are other 198 tribal groups, which are unnoticed.

These tribes have an inclination towards the religion and other spiritual beliefs and are inspired by several traditions of the tribal communities in India. The most common traditions involve worshiping nature, sacrificing the animals and wearing a tusk on the head.

The most important part of this tribe is festival and fairs and these tribes follow Hinduism widely. The traditions, culture, and festivals of the Hindus are mostly followed by these tribes. The people of these tribes also consume alcohol at a great degree during the festivals.

The Jat Panchayat governs the society of these tribes and the most important role in their life is played by marriage. The tribal people of Maharashtra believe in monogamy and it is very common among them.

Occupation of Tribes of Maharashtra

Cultivation and other similar activities, which are similar to agricultural, are practiced by the tribal people of Maharashtra. Most of the crops are produced by them along with fruits and vegetables. The norms of the Indian society are also followed by the tribal people of Maharashtra.

Tribal Communities of Maharashtra

The most prominent tribal community of Maharashtra is Warlis. The beliefs, customs, and culture of this community are unique and it is made by them only. The paintings made by them are stunning and they focus mainly on the nature in all the customs and traditions they follow. For them, nature is a mother like figure and they trust on it the most.

The Bhil people were initially expert hunters and resided in the deep forest. Gradually, they became farmers and settled like one. The deities worshipped by them are Sitla Matta and Mogra Deo.

The most notable people in Maharashtra are Kolis who are mostly Hindus. You can also find Christian Kolis in Maharashtra who worship the Goddess Ekaveera. The folk dance of this tribe is famous and they are known for the same.

One of the most significant tribal communities is Halba who resides in most of the parts including Maharashtra. The woodcarving of this tribe is the most famous and the major occupations of this tribe include animal husbandry, farming, and cultivation. The forest products are also sold by a lot of them along with the articles made of bamboo.

Beautiful clothes are worn by the men and women of Chodhari tribe. They are vegetarian people and most of them are agrarian. Clothes, jewelries, and tools are made by these tribes too for living.

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