Tribes in Jharkhand

There are as many as 30 different tribes in Jharkhand, an eastern state of in India. The names of these tribes at Jharkhand are:
  • Baiga
  • Asur
  • Banjara
  • Bedia
  • Bathaudi
  • Binjhia
  • Bhumij
  • Birjia
  • Birhor
  • Chick Baraik
  • Chero
  • Gorait
  • Gond
  • Karmali
  • Ho
  • Kharwar
  • Khond
  • Kisan
  • Kharia
  • Korba
  • Kora
  • Mahli
  • Lohar
  • Munda
  • Mal Paharia
  • Parhaiya
  • Oraon
  • Sauria Paharia
  • Santhal and
  • Savar

The ancient tribes of the state of Jharkhand include Birhor, Asur, Birajia and Mal Paharia. Some other ancient tribes of Jharkhand are Sauriya Paharia, Hill Kharia or Sabar, Parahiya and Korba.

Most of the people belonging to different Jharkhand tribes dwell in villages. These villages are grouped into tolas. They live in mud houses, which are devoid of any window. They often adorn the external surface of their houses with paintings. The major food for these tribal people is rice and the flesh of birds and animals.

According to the famous anthropologist LP Vidyarthi, the tribes of Jharkhand can be broadly classified according to the different ways of livelihood that they practice. The tribes in Jharkhand that are mainly artisans by profession are Lohra, Mahli, Karmali and Chick Baraik.

The major tribes that depend on gathering and hunting for their livelihood are the Korwa, the Birhor and the Hill Kharia.

Some of the tribes of the state of Jharkhand practice settled agriculture. A few important names of tribes engaged in this profession are Munda, Santhal and Ho. Oraon and Bhumij are also involved in settled agriculture in the state. Some tribes at Jharkhand are engaged in shifting agriculture for their bread and butter. Sauria Paharia is one such tribe.


Asur is an important tribe in the state of Jharkhand in the eastern part of the subcontinent of India. Asur in Jharkhand is one of the thirty major tribes of people who have made the state of Jharkhand their home. The people who belong to this tribe form quite a big part of the total population of the state of Jharkhand.

It ranks 21st among all the 30 tribal groups of the state, in terms of population, that is, there are as many as 9 tribal groups in the state that have a smaller population than the Asur of Jharkhand. Asur is one of the most ancient ethnic groups in the state of Jharkhand.


The Baiga is one of the most important tribes in the state of Jharkhand in India. The people who belong to the Baiga tribe of Jharkhand are reportedly least civilized of all the different tribes of the state. The people of the tribe of Baiga in Jharkhand inhabit in a particular district of the state. The name of this district of Jharkhand is the Garwa district.

The people who belong to the tribe of Baiga constitute a Kolerian ethnic community. The name of this tribe of Jharkhand has quite a few meanings. One of them is 'ojha' or a person who makes medicines. Many of the people who belong to the Baiga tribe make medicines by profession, though their chief traditional occupation has been shifting cultivation.


The Chero are one of the scheduled tribes of Jharkhand. In Jharkhand, Chero dwell in the districts of Ranchi, Sathal Pargana, Latehar and Palamu. Palamu seems to have a larger concentration of the Chero tribe in Jharkhand.

Besides, the Chero at Jharkhand are also found in Bhojpur, Gaya, Champaran, Munger, Daltonganj, Patan, Lesliganj, Bhawanathpur, Rohtas, etc. It is noteworthy in this context that the Chero, also known as Cherwas or Cherus, was a martial group that annexed many new territories through war. They are said to be descendants of the Kshatriya lineage known as Chandravanshi.


Kharia at Jharkhand belong to the Proto-Australoid group. The Kharia in Jharkhand are said to be the descendants of Nagvanshi Raja and are divided into three major sections namely Dudh Kharia, Dhelki Kharia and Hill Kharia.

The Kharia of Jharkhand are one of the most primitive tribes that chiefly depend on the resources obtained from the forests of the territory. The Hill Kharia largely depend on roots, edible herbs, leaves, fruits, seeds, flowers, honey, wax, etc; the Dhelki Kharia and Dudh Kharia depend on agriculture.

The Kharias are basically centered round the hills and plains adjoining the hills. The settlement of the Kharia is dispersed throughout the different districts of Jharkhand. The houses of the Kharias are made up of straw, bamboo, mud, rope, etc. and are generally rectangular in shape. The houses, generally, possess a single room that contains a bedroom, kitchen and bathroom: we can find a cow-shed or pig stay attached to the house.


Kharwar are found in the Latehar, Lohardaga, Ranchi, Hazaribagh, Chatra, Daltonganj, Garhwa, districts and is known to be one of the scheduled tribes of Jharkhand. The Kharwar of Jharkhand is also found in the Rohtasgarh district in Bihar.

It is interesting to note that the Kharwar in Jharkhand are a group of traditional people who use the Khair grasses for various purposes. Due to the excessive use of the Khair leaves by them, the Kharwars are named so.

A family is the unit of the Kharwar society which is generally nuclear in structure and comprises a husband, wife and their unmarried children because after marriage the children set up their own families. In fact, the concept of the joint family is completely absent from the Kharwar society.


The abode of the members of the extremely cherished Munda tribe is not confined to the borders of the state of Jharkhand. The Munda people have also penetrated into other beleaguering states of Orissa, Chattisgarh, Bihar and West Bengal. As a matter of fact, a handful of the Munda tribals have also been noted to have established their permanent domicile in Bangladesh as well.

The sphere where the Munda in Jharkhand bears a remarkable similitude with its contemporary tribes is mainly concerned with a conspicuous dialect and a unique life-style. This could be vividly illustrated from the fact that the lingo restricted to them is known as 'Mundari'. The legend that exists behind this extremely coveted and revered language elucidates that Mundari actually belonged to the Austro-Asiatic family of languages.

Last Updated on : 25th March 2013