Gonds Tribe of India

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : May 27, 2022, 12:37

Officially known as Scheduled Tribes, the Gonds Tribes is one of the largest tribal groups in India. This tribe is scattered across the states of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Bihar, Telangana, Odisha, and Uttar Pradesh. This tribe lacks a uniform socio-economic and cultural identity. The tribe speaks regional languages such as Hindi, Telugu, Marathi, and Odia. Apart from regional languages, they also speak Gondi, an unwritten language belonging to the Dravidian family.

Culture of Gonds Tribe

When it comes to the Gond culture, their traditions feature cottage industry practices such as pottery, basket weaving, and floor paint. They also sport tattoos. Their art upholds their festivities. They practice stonework and woodwork as well, in carving memorials, pillars, and house decorations. They are famous for their artwork. Their art serves the main purpose of being adorned in their houses, but it has gained international attention.

Religion of Gonds Tribe

The famous Gond artist Jangarh Singh Shyam comes from the village of Patangarh, where this visual art thrives. Their art displays a cohesion of geometrical patterns, nature, and the Gods the tribe believes in. The natural elements of their art display flora, fauna, and human figures dancing, gathering, or hunting.

Festivities are celebrated rather joyously, with music and dancing. Their folklore features the Dandari style of dancing wherein events from the Gond mythology are told. The Dhulia are professional musicians and the Pardhans are professional storytellers. Their folklore aims to preserve their history and legends, upholding the value of passing on traditions orally. Apart from the tattoos, their people favour silver ornaments, and the women use colourful glass bangles and necklaces. The traditional attire for men is the loincloth, while women wear sarees.

Gonds Tribe of Socio-Economic

The tribe is largely agrarian, relying on everyday wages. Their staple food consists of Kodo and Kutki. These are two varieties of millets, consumed like broth or cereal. They also integrate vegetables into their daily diet. The tribe does eat meat but does not eat the animals that represent their clan totems. They also store roots, tubers, and honey. Apart from agriculture, they also rely on pastoral activities. They worship nature and its core elements such as water, earth, and fire. A typical Gond house is fashioned with earthen elements like mud and thatch. It features simplistic items for daily usage such as mats, wooden stools, and cots. The house usually has a living room, a kitchen, and a verandah, along with a shrine for godly worship.

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Gonds Tribe Judiciary

Their people believe in a village system. All villages have a leader and a council chosen by the villagers. The council includes the leader, a few elderly people, and a priest. Certain sub-communities offer essential services such as Agaria (blacksmiths) and the Ahir (cowherds).

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Festivals in Gonds Tribe

The Gonds Tribe of India has its own set of festivities apart from the regional ones. They worship gods related to their clan, family, cattle, field, and diseases. They believe in nature spirits. Every village has two representatives that are worshipped during the festivities - the village guardian and the village matriarch. The priests have the responsibility to carry out sacrificial practices during these festivals. The priests also tend to the clan shrines and totems. For familial festivities, the head of the family is entrusted with the responsibility. The regional festivities they have been known to celebrate include Nagpanchami, Dussehra, and Pola.

The Gond people have deep faith in ritualism. Apart from animal sacrifices, they offer coconuts, flowers, and fruits to their gods. They attest their misfortunes and illnesses to having displeased and angered their gods while trusting soothsayers and magicians to provide relief from the same.

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FAQs on Gonds Tribe of India

Q.1 What are the Gond Tribes famous for?

The Gond Tribes are famous for their artistic and vibrant looking artwork.

Q.2 Who was the last ruler of the Gond Tribe?

Narsingh Deora is supposed to be the last and former ruler of the Gond Tribe.

Q.3 How are the socio-economic conditions of the Gond Tribe?

Most of the Gond communities are labourers, landowners, or are deeply engaged in agricultural activities.

Q.4 Name one of the largest tribes in India.

The Gond Tribe is one of the largest tribes in India with an estimate of 12 million people.