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People of Chhattisgarh


Chhattisgarh , the 'Gateway toCentral India', has an age-old cultural legacy that dates back to the antiquity. The state has a traditional culture and is inhabited by a variety of people. The people of Chhattisgarh are friendly exuberant people who like to live life to the hilt.

The multi-ethnic culture of Chhattisgarh is attributed to its diverse tribes, cultures and faiths. The people have preserved their traditional culture. There is hardly any trace of urban cosmopolitan culture save a few industrial cities like Raipur and Bhiali. The local inhabitants are mainly tribal people and the principal tribes to dominate the populace are:

  • Gonds
  • Abhuj Maria
  • BisonHorn Maria
  • Muria
  • Halbaa
  • Bhatra
  • Dhurvaa

    The locals are hardworking, diligent and enterprising. They love to fill their lives with color, humor and a good amount of enjoyment. The people mainly converse in Hindi and Chhattisgarhi and a variety of local dialects. The numerous folklores, folksongs and musical instruments, dramas, ballads and songs, food and drink manifest the state's cultural diversities and are enjoyed by the young and old alike. Mirth and merriment add color to their lives..The women are hard working and assist the men on the farms. They also love dressing up in vibrantly colored costumes and adorn themselves with ethnic jewelry. The tribal people are very talented and creative and their expertise is manifested in the exquisite traditional handicrafts

    Ethnicity

    Chhattisgarh is one of the most diverse regions in the India as far as ethnicity is concerned. Located in the heartland of the Indian peninsula, the ethnicity of Chhattisgarh is evinced by the numerous tribes.

    More than a third of this region is populated by the aboriginal tribes who subsist in the densely wooded areas of the state. They have been maintaining their own lifestyle and throughout the political and economic upheavals, they have continued to exist, undisturbed, over the centuries in their forest lands. The largest concentration of these ethnic tribes is found in the Bastar district. More than seventy percent of its populace is tribal in origin. The Gond tribe of Bastar is the most prominent among them. They are famous for their system of marriages and education, which they call Ghotul. It is a complicated system of matrimony. There are several other tribes of Chhattisgarh, namely Korba, Baiga, Bisonhorn Maria, Abhuj Maria, Halbaa, Muria, Dhurvaa, Bhatra etc. Although these tribes belong to the same aboriginal ancestry, they are quite different in a multitude of aspects. Their food, dress code, tradition, deities etc. are all different. The nomenclatures of the same deities are different for different tribes. The most amazing thing about the tribal community is their enthusiasm for different types of music and dances. The womenfolk are fascinated about embellishments made of beads, cowries, bones, shells, alloys, bronze and copper. Among their festivals, Dussera is the most important. But unlike the type celebrated in North India, these communities throng to Dantewada to offer 'Puja' (worship) to goddess Danteshwari. Chhattisgarh has a myriad of multicultural and multi ethnic populaces which create a diversified unity in the state. The ethnicity of Chhattisgarh is indeed a fascinating topic of study and delving into its depths provides an insight into Central India's rich cultural legacy.

    Religion

    Religion in Chhattisgarh is of prime importance in the life of the people. The state of Chhattisgarh is largely populated by the tribals who follow various religions. The region was mainly influenced by traditional Hindu culture but with the increasing oppression of caste system and social hierarchy, many of them have accepted other forms of religion. A large proportion of them do follow Hindu religion in Chhattisgarh like the Gond tribe and in turn they influence other tribes. A sizeable populations of Muslims, Christians and Buddhists also exists in Chhattisgarh. The various missionaries working in Chhattisgarh have resulted in the conversion of many people to Christianity. The influence of Jain religion is evident in the several Jain memorials in Aarang, Malhar, Maheshpur and Sirpur. For the Hindus Lord Rama is the most popular figure even toady. Chhattisgarh has undergone many tribal rebellions due to which various alternative religions have gained preference at times. Followers of Satnam Panth, Rae Das Panth, Ramnami Panth and Kabir Panth gained importance and followers, especially among the poors and outcastes because they abhorred caste system and deity worshiping. Religion in Chhattisgah is often also mixed with superstition and sorcery. The tribes believe in various totems, and, nature worship in varying forms are common. Mother Nature sustains human beings and so it is considered as God by various communities. Such folk Gods and Goddesses unique to the communities have gained importance. In fact, religion in Chhattisgarh is so strong that it even influences and defines the political loyalty of the people of the state.

    Languages

    Chhattisgarhi and Hindi are the main spoken languages of Chhattisgarh. However, there are about 93 types of languages that are used, out of which 70 are variants belonging to Chhattisgarhi alone. For instance, the dialect of Sadri is understood by and familiar with various tribal groups. In the same way, Halbi is understood by many tribal groups hailing from the southern part of Chhattisgarh. Chhattisgarhi can be termed as a sub - variety of Hindi. All the 70 dialects in Chhattisgarhi, basically, span over the three linguistic groups of Austro-Asiatic languages, Dravidian and Indo - European languages, which are mainly in use in India. The most widely used dialects are Surgujia, Kalanga, Sadri Korwa, Binjhwari, Kavardi, Bhulia, Baigani, Khairagarhi and Chhattisgarhi Proper.
    Language variants from all these groups are used in the northern part of Chhattisgarh but only the Indo - European dialects are in use in the central part of Chhattisgarh. The southern part of the state falls on the Deccan plateau and this has influenced the Dravidian dialects to be infused with the Indo - European dialects used in this zone. Approximately 12 million people speak Chhattisgarhi. Many dialects are also dying away like Parji, Kurukh and Gondi that are facing near - extinction among the languages of Chhattisgarh. Whatever language or dialect one uses, the written script is always in the Devanagari script. Hindi is the medium of working in official purposes, recruitment and government works. All people of Chhattisgarh do understand and can speak Hindi well, which incidentally is also the national language of India.

    Chhattisgarh Clothing

    Chhattisgarh Clothing involves a combination of a variety of vibrant textures. While some of the clothes of Chhattisgarh are woven by local craftsmen in handlooms, others are adorned with modern designs. Bastar and Raipur districts are the two notable areas where major textile units are found. The Bastar district of Chhattisgarh is inhabited by some of the ancient tribes of the state. These tribes are known to have their own tradition of cloth weaving. Since the tribal communities live amidst the verdant stretches of forest areas in Chhattisgarh, the designs on their clothing reflects the shades of different animals and birds like peacocks, lions etc. Also motifs of village huts, old temples and commonly used pitchers are found frequently on the tribal wears of Chhattisgarh. The floral prints of Bastar which are made by the local aborigines in the handloom are quite popular. On any auspicious occasion or during a big festival, the tribal people wear the colorful cloths as a symbol of gaiety and mirth.

    Last Updated on: 6/6/2013



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