Tribal Treasures Of Odisha: An Interesting Exploration
With a culture that is easily among the richest in the entire world, India is a land of diverse people with diverse languages, cuisine, festivals and the general way of living. It has many secrets that it hides and shields within its deepest corners. The citizens of India have a high historical significance in terms of their own cultures and conserve a certain amount of artistic brilliance that is unique only to them. Considering all of the states of India, Odisha has the highest number of tribes which is easily as many as 62, comprising about 24% of the total population. Every single one of them has its own lifestyle and culture, independent of that of the others. They live in the eastern ghats and mainly inhabit the hill ranges.
Daily Lifestyle and Everyday Dealings
The tribes of Odisha are acquainted with some of the country’s most incredible forms of art and attract people from all over the world who are interested in buying the same. They have conserved the culture of the state and kept it intact till now, rising against the increasing westernization that is evident throughout the country. The Kondh and Santal tribes are some of the most widespread and largest tribes in Odisha with a population of around 1 million each.
They survive mainly on daily practices of necessity such as agriculture, farming, hunting and gathering and other activities that fall under the subsistence economy and function entirely as beings capable of attaining their needs on the basis of their own efforts as individuals and as a community. Most of the tribes of Odisha are self-sufficient and do not entirely rely on the world to acquire whatever they need to survive.
Art and Culture
Music, arts and dance are among the most prominent activities that engage the tribes in their entirety. Though vastly different from each other in their general way of living in addition to other cultural differences, the tribes of Odisha share a common love for and fondness towards the very existence and significance of art. During festivals, they come together to celebrate life with the means of music and it becomes their highly pleasure inducing pastime.
Dancing is another activity that the people are particularly fond of and takes place during nightfall when its festive time, continuing through the day. The tribes are unique also in terms of their dance forms and just in how they engage with dance as a whole.
Crafts and Other Artisan Skills
While most tribes have means of sustenance that keep them on their toes and self-reliant, many of them also seek the same property of independence of both livelihood and expression in textiles, basket-weaving, tool-making and even various forms of craft such as metal or even plastic. Regular haats are held to celebrate their craft and talent and people fly in from all over the country and even the world to buy these beautifully carved and created items, keeping them as souvenirs of the beautiful state.
Most tribal homes also possess handlooms and each type is distinctly known for its own style and patterns. Some tribes have a specially enchanting way of dealing with the needle while some experiment freely with vegetable dyes which add a flair to the textile, making them stand out from the rest in enhanced ways.
The handloom traditions in Odisha date back to 600 BCE and have survived through the art forms of the tribes of Odisha. Regardless of the inconsistency of time and its constantly changing nature, the people of Odiya have made the most incredible and awe-spiring works of art that have survived generation after generation and are looked at as an inspiration even today. From dhotis, saris and other materials of clothing to other pieces made of silk and cotton, they have churned out a jaw-dropping amount of creations that have left the world astounded time and time again.
Almost every other household in Odisha will have a weaver willing to make you familiar with the very process and intricacies of weaving by going into detail about how silk, cotton and tusseri, among other fabrics, are woven. Countless natives of Odisha are employed in the fields of textile, hand looming and weaving and create wonders every single day by diving into the art form in an intimately phenomenal manner. You will find yourself in awe of the vibrancy that breathes through the visibility of art in the tribal culture of the state, and how it makes itself apparent by openly offering itself to all those that are paying attention to their beauty.
Warmth in Simplicity
Otherwise super hospitable and yet satisfied with the space they take on the social spectrum of the country, the tribes of Odisha are warm and minimal yet wonderfully so. Their dressing and attire, too, is incredibly minimal and very simple in nature except for the colorful jewelry some of them have their people adorn. Most tribal women are caped in ornaments such as anklets, bracelets and bold necklaces stringed together using distinctly colored beads and both men and women tattoo their bodies with symbols that hold cultural and often community based meanings. Their festivals are widespread and celebrated in great pomp and show owing to their genuine will to please the gods.
Eco Retreat in Odisha and Konark acquaints with the works of various tribes distributed all over the state. You are given enough space to reply to and engage with the art and creations of the people and have the chance to buy them too so you can hold onto them as souvenirs of the beautiful state. The eco retreat also allows you to observe them in their natural territory so you can experience their culture on a first hand basis and are often allowed to directly take part in them. While they tend to be protective when it comes to their culture, the tribes of Odisha are open to people who truly want to see them as they are.
Framed by multiple coupled trees, the village of Raghurajpur is one of the most beautiful craft villages in India. It has a heartwarmingly traditional culture of craft making and most villagers invest in the performance in its entirety to ensure it does not stop existing. The works are mostly inspired by the temples and other attractions of the state of Odisha, and have their own stories to tell. Almost every household is covered in art and decorated by craft.
Pipli is another phenomenal village in Odisha that is famous for its applique work, which is essentially carried out by stitching and embroidering different pieces of cloth that are based on the most amazing decorative items such as umbrellas, pouches, wallets, mirrors etc. Take them with you to add a certain twist and change to your homes in the best way possible.
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