- The Gonds are among the largest tribal groups in South Asia and perhaps the world.
- The Gonds of Western Odisha have been highly acculturated into Hindu society and have attained the status of a worrier caste.
- According to Gonds, Mahadeo created earth after the deluge. Next he created nature, birds, animals and finallyman. The Gonds are the first son of Mahadeo and Parvati.
- Many Gonds live around the Satpura Hills, Maikala Range and Son-Deogarh uplands, and on the Bastar plateau. Many Gond tribes also live in the Garhjat Hills of northern Orissa. The region is drained by the head-waters of many of India’s major rivers (such as the Narmada, Tapti, Son, Mahanadi, and Godavari).
- Apart from Madhya Pradesh they lives in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana,Karnataka and Odisha.
- In Madhya Pradesh around 1 crore population of Gonds are there.
- Historical name of Madhya Pradesh was Gondwana
- GOND the word taken from the word KOND which is in Tamil and which means who lives in forest on mountains and Most describe themselves as Gonds (hill people) or as Koi or Koitur.
- Gond dynasties ruled in four kingdoms (Garha-Mandla, Deogarh, Chanda, and Kherla) in central India between the sixteenth and mid-eighteenth centuries.
- Rani Durgavati was from this janjati.
- The Gond of a part of Kalahandi and Koraput are a hill tribe having their distinctive dress, habits and The recent demographic history treats them as immigrants to Odisha. As a petty business community their nativity is traced to Madhya Pradesh.
- Their main occupation is agriculture or Agricultural labourer. They also go for fishing and hunting for supplementing their Commonly Kisan Gonds take 2 crops at a time in the same field. They also eat chapati off Maize.
- Various types of Gonds are there Agariya, Bheema, Buta, Maria etc.
- They also marriage as per Gotra system. Among the Gonds, clan/sub clan exogamy is regarded as the basic principle of marriage. The tribe has exogamous totemic clan divisions. The principle extends to clan-cluster exogamy. Crosscousin marriage and marriage by negotiation are Marriage by service is socially permitted.
- Those who belongs from royal family known as Rajgond and those who belongs from commonfamily known as Kisangond.
- Most of the houses of gonds are build up of soil.
- Women do tattoos on their body from childhood.
- During festivities Gond women wear a brass neck band ‘locally known as Paduka.
- They consume locally brewed liquor, like rice bear, rasi, mahuli, as important cultural items
- Gondi belongs to the Dravidian family of languages and is related to Tamil and The language offers a cultural connection between the many Gond groups. Many Gonds also speak Hindi, Marathi, or Telegu.
- This village level democratic organization is headed by ‘Majhi’ (headman).
- Each Gond village has its own service giving “caste groups” such as the Ahir (cowherd), Agria (blacksmith), Dhulia (Drummers) and Pradhan (Bards and Singers).
- They worship Shiva, Durga, Vishnu and Krishna.
- Folk songs– Gondwani (in which they mention about Gond Kings ) Ramayani (in which lead role is of Lakshman not Ram) Pandayani (in which the lead role is of Bheem).
- Keslapur Jathra’ festival is marked with worshipping the snake deity – Nagaba and Madai festival is celebrated to mark the occasion of meeting relatives settled in other parts of the country.
- The dance performed by men with costumes decorated with peacock feathers on head along with cotton clothes around their waist and smeared ash body is known as ‘Gusadi’. They enjoy the festivities with sharing drinks and playing with the rhythm of drum beats and blowing music throughout thenight.
- Persa Pen is the most distinctive feature of Gond Like many other tribes, Gonds worship a high god known as Baradeo, whose alternate names are Bhagavan, Sri Shambu Mahadeo, and Persa Pen.
Concept of Persa Pen
Gonds worship a high god known as Baradeo, whose alternate names are Bhagavan, Sri Shambu Mahadeo, and Persa Pen. Each Gond clan has its Persa Pen, who protects all clan members. The Persa Pen is essentially good but can be dangerous and violent. Many Gonds believe that when a Pardhan (bard) plays his fiddle, the deity’s fierce powers can be controlled.
- Each village has its Village-Guardian and Village-Mother who are worshipped when villagers celebrate regular festivities. Gonds also worship family and household gods, gods of the field, and gods of cattle. Deities such as Shitala Mata, goddess of smallpox, help ward off Spirits are also believed to inhabit hills, rivers, lakes and trees.
- Village priests (devari), perform sacrifices and rituals for village festivals. The head of a household typically carries out family ceremonies. Clan priests (katora) tend the shrine and ritual objects of the clan’s Persa Pen. These priests also guard the sacred spear point and organize annual festivals.
- Most aspects of Gond life, from the greatest festivals to the building of a new cattle shed, are accompanied by Certain deities, especially female ones, demand chickens, goats, and sometimes male buffaloes. Every nine or twelve years, Gonds sacrifice a pig to the god Narayan Deo in an important ceremony known as the Laru Kaj (Pig’s Wedding). Other rituals also involve offerings of fruits, coconuts, flowers, colored powder, and strings.
- Gonds believe evil spirits and the gods’ displeasure cause most diseases and misfortunes. They ask soothsayers and diviners to find out the cause of problems and to suggest remedies. Sometimes, magicians and shamans (healers) can provide this advice. Magicians use special formulas to control the actions of a deity or spirit that is causing a particular Shamans fall into a trance and give voice to the demands of an offended god or spirit.
- Gonds celebrate most festive occasions with song and dance. In some instances, such as with the Dandari dancers, dances retell events from Gond Dhulia are a professional musician caste and Pardhans (bards) preserve legends, myths, and history, passing these traditions on from generation to generation. Gonds also enjoy assembling on full-moon nights to sing and dance. Cockfighting is a favorite pastime.
BHILS OF MADHYA PRADESH
- The Bhils, India’s second largest tribal community, live in Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Maharashtra.
- Some of the Bhils trace their ancestry to Eklavya, who was more skilled as an archer than Arjuna, the heroof Some scholars have said that Valmiki, who chronicled the Ramayana was actually a Bhil, Valia.
- Some scholars think the word ‘Bhil’ is the Dravidian word for “bow”, others say it is derived from the Tamil word bhilawar or “bowman”.
- Between the Bhils of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, there are differences in their deities, songs, dancesand Both communities erect pillars in memory of their ancestors, but have different names for them. Where in Madhya Pradesh, the memory pillars are called gatlas – in Rajasthan pillars honouring men are cheera and those of the women are known as matlok.
- Their homes reveal an innate sense of aesthetics. Walls are plastered every year and decorated with clay relief work, mittichitra, and paintings. Their materials are simple, homemade – pigments extracted from the leaves and flowers of various plants, daubed on with brushes made of rag or a cotton swabs fastened totwigs of neem.
- The Bhils also have several forms of marriage, which allow for freedom in the selection life There is a bride price system which cuts across all forms of marriage, even elopement.
- At births and weddings, songs are sung to invoke the blessings of elders, ancestors, ancestors,
- During every festival, the Bhils dance the garba and through their songs, invite the goddesses to jointhem.
- Among the Bhils of Jhabua, Pithora painting is a ritual held in great Pithora horses are painted bythe lekhindra, the traditional painter and offered to the devas. As the story goes, in the kingdom of Dharmi Raja, people had forgotten how to laugh or sing and dance. Pithora, the prince, then undertakes a journey on horseback to the abode of the goddess Himali Harda, who gives them back their laughter, songs and dance. Pithora wall paintings depict the Bhil creation.
- Their economy is based in agriculture.
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