Odisha Tribes

Odisha Tribes: The Ethnic Kaleidoscope of India

Every tribe in India has its own indigenous culture, cuisine and custom. These tribes are strikingly different from each other. A tour into tribal villages of Odisha endows substantial experience into the land of maximum tribal population in India.
Travel to Odisha to explore more than 62 different tribes, elegantly adorning the state.
Their highest density of tribes in Odisha is in the districts of Sundergarh, Mayurbhanj and Koraput. The popular tribes include Bagata, Bathudi, Bondo, Dal, Kotia, Mankidi and Santal.

Tribal economy is mostly subsistence based, primarily revolving around hunting, fishing and collecting. Tribes like Juanga, Dharua,? Bonda and? Bhuyan follow shifting cultivation technique, locally called as Phodu Chasa.
So, come and discover the beauty of age-old traditions of tribes in Odisha, related with music, drama, art, rituals and legends.

Following are the main tribes of Odisha Bonda

Known as the oldest tribe of Odisha, they are located in the remote and hilly regions of Malkangiri district, in the south-western region of Odisha. They are differentiated into upper and lower Bonda tribes, depending on their location.
Their traditional costume includes a long and wide fabric spun from a plant called ringa. It is tied around their waist. Women are seen wearing heavy aluminium and brass-made necklaces. Patkhanda Yatra and Chaitra Praba are their major festivals.


Also called as Kondhs or Kui, they are the largest tribal group of Odisha. Currently, they are located in Rayagada and Koraput. They are known for their great admiration for Mother Nature. The medicinal plants used by them are effective in curing diseases like diabetes, ulcers, bronchitis, jaundice and even problems like infertility.


Gadabas are one of the most primitive tribal groups of Odisha. Presumably, the history of their origin dates back to the time of Hindu Epic Ramayana. They call themselves as ‘Guthan’ and are settled in Malkangiri, Koraput and Kalahandi regions. They have a remarkable way of dressing up. Both men and women have long hairs and they decorate it with flowers. ‘Gutor Parab’ is the famous festival celebrated by them.


This tribal group is known for its enthusiasm and energy level. The most interesting tradition they follow is the elopement of the groom with his would-be wife.? They celebrate ‘Bali Jatra Festival’ with great zeal and fervour. They are also known for their systematic and disciplined way of administration. A 'Mukhia' (head) is chosen for every village and a ‘Bhattanaik’ is nominated for 21 villages.


They are concentrated in the north-western parts of Odisha, especially in the districts like Mayurbhanj and Kendujhar. They dwell in mud-huts with thatched roofs. The folks enjoying ornamenting the mud walls of their huts with colourful floral patterns. Their traditional attire includes a cotton dhoti for male and orange coloured sari for the female.

The surreal beauty, mystic landscape and the ethnic charm of tribes add charm to Odisha Tour. Do take a walk through the tribal villages of Odisha and get impressed.
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