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Gonds - The Gods People
Gondvana - the Mighty Kingdom in the olden days still stands with the ruins
of the Kingdom in its sand. From the 15th century to the 18th century, this
region called Gondwana was the home to the Gonds. The Gondwana Land gave its
name to the present day Africa, South America, Australia, India Sub
Continent and Antarctica. The Gonds lost their lives in saving their lands
from the then upcoming tribe called the Banjaras. Most of the Gonds
describe themselves as hill people or as Koi or Koitur.
The inheritors of the Dravidian Culture - the Gonds are the simple tribes
with a high thinking of non - egaliriatism. Mainly found in Central India
the Gonds preach the Gods path and do agriculture as their main work.
Apart from Madhya Pradesh, Gonds can be found in Chattisgarh, Andhra
Pradesh and Orissa. They are the largest Tribe in India, South Asia, and
perhaps the world with nine million people (out of which four million
resides in India). They speak language related to Telgu and Dravidian
language. The spoken languages are generalized as Gondi and Hindi. They
practice agriculture growing cereals. Herding cattles is also a part of
Gonds Different Aspects :
The girl in this photograph looks like any of the modern girls who like
traditional dresses. Though not to a large extent but the Gonds have
changed themselves with the changing times.
It looks like any regular house in a small village. The Gonds have
begun to live in the wooden houses from quite a time, another big change
which is visual in the living ways of the Gonds.
The Culture of Gonds
The main diety of the Gonds is the pantheon - a single Temple which
bows to all the Gods and Culture of the World. The Gond Clan is
known as Persa Pen who protects all Clan Members.. They believe in the
equality of the human beings without the discrimination of higher and
lower society. This transparency can be clearly seen as they themselves
have inclusions of Bhils and Santals in their tribes. They also worship
the most ancient spirits as Gonds speak the unwritten languages
related to Dravidians.
Each village of Gonds a Village Guardian and a Village Mother who
are worshipped during all regular festivals. The Spirits both good and
bad are supposed to be inhabit hills, villages, lakes and rivers.
Sacrifices are made by the Village Priests - Devari - in most of
the festivals. Most aspects of the Gond life are filled with animal
sacrifices. But then most of the Gonds festivals are related to
Most of the Gonds live in a Village with a Headman known as Mahji or
Patel. A Village Council is also there which divides the Gonds into
Castes called Ahir (Cowherds), Agaria (Blacksmith), Dhuli
(Drummers) and Pardhan (bard and singers). A Gond Village has
typically several hamlets. Houses made of hatch and mud have a verandah
(outer space), living room, kitchen, special room for women, shrine room
for Gods and a Guest Room. Gonds welcome visitors with tobacco leaves,
fruits or other small gifts.
The Staple Food of Gonds is two millets known as Kodo and Kutki.
Vegetables are usually grown in kitchen gardens or collected from
forests. Gonds grow tobacco for smoking and make liquor for Mahua tree
For the Celebrations, Gonds have Danderi dancers who retell events from
Gond Mythology. Dance, songs, cock fighting are the main attractions of
any celebration. During the festive time women wear colored glass
bangles and necklaces made of small black beads. Tattooing is also a
major charm for Gonds.
Marraiges in Gonds are usually self chosen. However, the tribal council
approves the matches. The father of the groom pays a bride price. The
newly weds live with the elders of the family till they make a house of
their own. The same Council also approves the divorces.
Gonds are educated to a pretty decent level. Around 25percent of Gonds
in Maharashtra and 15 percent Gonds of Madhya Pradesh. However the ratio
of boys to girls still remain 1: 5 percent.