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Transcript of Gondi Tribe
Rites of Passage
Education and Employment
Crafts and Hobbies
Problems of Gond tribe
Measures taken by government
The Gonds are among the largest tribal groups in South Asia and perhaps the world. The term
' gond '
refers to tribal people who live all over India's Deccan Peninsula. Most describe themselves as Gonds (hill people) or as
Scholars believe Gonds settled in
, now known as eastern Madhya Pradesh, between the ninth and thirteenth centuries AD . Gond dynasties ruled in four kingdoms
(Garha-Mandla, Deogarh, Chanda, and Kherla)
in central India between the sixteenth and mid-eighteenth centuries.
Maratha power swept into Gond land in the 1740s. They overthrew Gond rajas (princes) and seized most of their territory.
Gonds live all over central India, and in the states of Maharashtra and Orissa.
The region(Gondwana) is part of the northern Deccan plateau, with an average height of about 600–700 metres.
Part of it is overlaid with alluvium, and in the west it is overlaid with the igneous rocks of the Deccan Traps.
Many Gonds live around the
Satpura Hills, Maikala Range
the Bastar plateau
and in the
Garhjat Hills of northern Orissa
. The upland areas generally lie between 2,000 to 3,000 feet (600 to 900 meters)with isolated peaks occasionally exceeding approximately 4,000 feet (1,200 meters).
The region is drained by the head-waters of many of India's major rivers such as the Narmada, Tapti, Son, Mahanadi, and Godavari.
Gondi people belong to the Dravidian family of languages and are related to
. The language offers a cultural connection between the many Gond groups. Many Gonds also speak
Hindi, Marathi, or Telegu
Hereditary bards and professional storytellers called
tell stories about Gond legends and myths. In these stories, it is said that when Gond gods were born, their mother abandoned them. The goddess
rescued them, but her consort
Sri Shambhu Mahadeo (Shiva)
kept them captive in a cave.
Pahandi Kapar Lingal
, a Gond hero, who received help from the goddess
rescued them from the cave.
Like many other tribes, Gonds worship a high god known as
, whose alternate names are
Bhagavan, Sri Shambu Mahadeo,
Each village has its
who are worshiped when villagers celebrate regular festivities. Gonds also worship family and household gods, gods of the field, and gods of cattle. Deities such as
goddess of smallpox, help ward off disease. Spirits are also believed to inhabit hills, rivers, lakes and trees.
Most aspects of Gond life, from the greatest festivals to the building of a new cattle shed, are accompanied by sacrifice. Certain deities, especially female ones, demand chickens, goats, and sometimes male buffaloes. Every nine or twelve years, Gonds sacrifice a pig to the god
in an important ceremony known as the
Rites of Passage
Gonds protect pregnant women against spells and evil influences, and perform several rituals after a baby is born. After the separation of the navel cord,
ritual is performed wherein they purify the house and the family members.
This also involves the child’s nails being cut, his head shaved and then smeared with turmeric paste. These nails and hair are kept in a
along with one and a quarter of a rupee. In the evening, some female relatives are invited for
during which they worship the navel cod and make sacramental offerings. A
is also organized once the pollution period is over.
Children grow up as part of a family, clan, and
, and gradually learn the ways of their people.
Each Gond village has a headman (known by local names such as
) and a village council (
) chosen by the villagers.
The council consists of the headman, priest, village watchman, and four or five elders. It helps keep the village running smoothly and upholds Gond customs.
Villages also have service castes such as
(bards and singers).
A typical Gond village has several hamlets. Each consists of homesteads that house extended families. Houses are usually built of mud and thatch. They consist of a living room, kitchen, veranda, a special room for women to use while menstruating, and a shrine for clan gods.
Gond houses contain cots and a few wooden stools; mats are used for sitting and sleeping.
Gond society is divided into four groups known as
or sagas in Gondi.The saga is divided into several clans (
) . A clan consists of a group of people who believe they share a common ancestor. Generally, it is good to marry outside the clan.
Kinship and marriage customs among Gonds reflect broader regional patterns. The norm is cross-cousin marriage (for example, marrying one's mother's brother's daughter), which is typical in southern India.
The staples of the Gond diet are two millets known as
. These are either boiled to a broth or cooked to a dry cereal. Broth is preferred for the first two meals of the day and the dry cereal is eaten at night, often with vegetables.
Education & Employment
Crafts and Hobbies
Gonds have a rich arts tradition that includes pottery, basket making, body tattooing, and floor painting. They paint designs in red and black on the walls of their houses. These drawings often celebrate festivals and depict animals, birds, human figures, hunting, and dancing. Gonds make musical instruments. They carve memorial pillars in wood and stone for their dead. They often decorate houses with carved doors and panels.
Problems of Gond Tribe
1. Geographic Separation
2. Cultural Problems
3. Social Problems
4. Educational Problems
5. Problem of Health and Sanitation
(ii) Unprofitable Agriculture
(iii) Problems of land ownership:
(v) Non-Availability of Banking Facilities
Gond men typically wear the
, or loincloth. The
is a long piece of white cotton cloth wrapped around the waist and then drawn between the legs and tucked into the waist. Women wear a cotton
(a length of fabric wrapped around the waist, with one end thrown over the right shoulder) and
(tight-fitting, cropped blouse).
Gonds celebrate most festive occasions with song and dance. In some instances, such as with the
dancers, dances retell events from Gond mythology. At other times, dances are performed simply for fun.
are a professional musician caste and
(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. Cock fighting is a favorite pastime.
Literacy rate among Gonds varies from just over 25 percent in Maharashtra to less than 15 percent in Madhya Pradesh.
Among females in Madhya Pradesh, it drops to about 4 percent.
Few children attend school regularly, and girls rarely continue past primary school.Gonds have 4.2 lakh children who do not attend school.
Gonds today are mainly farmers. Although some Gond communities have risen to the status of landowners, many are landless laborers.
Measures taken by government:
1. Constitutional Provisions and Safeguards
2. Representation in Legislatures and Panchayats: Under Article 330 and 332 of the Indian Constitution, seats have been reserved for Scheduled Tribes in Lok Sabha and state Vidhan Sabhas.
3. Reservation in the Service: To facilitate their adequate representation certain concessions have been provided, such as :
(i) Exemption in age limits,
(ii) Relaxation in the standard of suitability
(iii) Inclusion at least in the lower category for purpose of promotion is otherwise than through qualifying examinations.
4. Administration of Scheduled and Tribal Areas
5. Tribes’ Advisory council
6. Commissioner for the Scheduled Castes and Tribes:Under Article 338 of Indian Constitution ,a Commissioner has been appointed by the President of India.
7. Welfare Department in the States:Under Article 164 (i) of the Constitution there is a provision of Welfare Department in the States of Indian Union. In Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Orissa, Welfare Departments in the charge of a Minister have been set up.
8. Educational Facilities:Measures to provide educational facilities have been taken by the Government .Emphasis is being laid on vocational and technical training.
10. Economic Opportunities
11. Tribal Research Institute
The climate is hot and semi-arid.
The natural vegetation is dry monsoon forest.
February sees the start of the hot season, with temperatures rising to over 40° C (104° F) in early June.
The summer brings the monsoon rains, with precipitation amounts varying from 47 inches (120 centimeters) to over 63 inches (160 centimeters) in the more southeasterly locations.
Late September marks the return of the cool, dry weather of winter.