Keonjhar Tribal Culture, Education, Tribal Rites & Rituals – Full Details!

Tribal Culture:

Each tribe of Keonjhar has got its own district custom and rituals. They have their own system of law and method of punishment depending upon the nature of crimes they have committed. They enjoy their lives through dance and music. Tribal villages often vibrate with drum beats and the hills echo with resonance of music. The waterfalls, springs hills and forests come to life with the rhythmic musical moods almost evervdav17. Each tribe has its rich patterns of music and dance which are variegated, specialized and artistic. 

This form of performing art has inspired the innovation of colourful costumes, varieties of musical instruments and excellent carvings and paintings in their houses. To conclude, the tribal people are simple by nature, hard working and they do not like to be inter-laced with the modern legal system which is expensive and complex in nature. 

The process of democratization has got limited influence upon them as it seems because they have not parted with their primitive culture and modes of living in general”.


Education among the tribals:

Literacy develops consciousness and makes a man aware of his rights and responsibilities. It is a means to achieve social justice and stop exploitation especially in a predominantly tribal and backward society. 

In order to improve the educational standard of tribals, reservations in educational institutions and stipend provisions are made and the Government has established a number of Ashram Schools and Sevashrams, and High Schools and Colleges in the district.

Unfortunately however, in Keonjhar, inspite of all government measures there seems to be no solution to the problem of illiteracy. As per 2001 census, the percentage of literacry among the STs population was 40.3 percent. Among tribal women as many as 25.97 percent were literates and schedule tribes male literacy percentage was 38.0118• As per 2001 census Keonjhar with a total scheduled tribe population of 6,95,141 hss 2,28,740 literates of which 1,55,076 are males and 73,670 are female.


Place of women in tribal society:

Women enjoy equal place with men in tribal society. Tribal women are physically strong and hard working. Perhaps except ploughing, they are engaged jointly in agricultural works, in collecting woods and forest products. Though tribes too have son preference, they do not discriminate against girls by female infanticide or sex determination tests19. They do entire house hold works and take care of the children. Some women also work as daily labourers. 

Tribal women can divorce her husband if she gets any ill treatment from him. Thus, the women do not depend upon men in the tribal society. But she is not allowed to take part in the political activities of the society. The status of tribal women can be judged mainly by the roles they play in the society. Their roles are determined to a large extent through the system of descent.


Tribal Rites and Rituals:

The social- cultural life of Odisha has been greatly shaped and influenced by the long continuing tribal traditions. Tribes believe in worshipping of numerous deities and perform rituals and ceremonies for a blissful life. Many festivals are also celebrated with much of devotion, through-out the year in order to appease their deities and ascendant. 

The most significant festivals of the year being”Chaita Parab” and Poush Parab”. Both days have a special attraction as all men of the village go on a hunting expedition. The additional charm of festivals are the cultural tribal dances, the songs and the music performed by the talented folk of the tribes, treasuring their rich customs that differentiate them from the other non tribal people.

Manipulation of the environment being the main concern of the tribals, all the ritual acts are directed towards stimulating natural processes. Illness or misfortune is attributed to displeasure and malicious act of the Gods or ancestors. The sacrifice of different kinds of livestock accompanied by all the rites and ceremonials of fetishism is considered appropriate of any enterprise unless the Gods are first appeased and the Omens, after being carefully considered, are adjudged to be propitious.

The tribes of Odisha have retained the rich and varied heritage of colourful dance and music forming integral part of their festivals and rituals. Among them the dance and music is developed and maintained by themselves in a tradition without aid and intervention of any professional dancer or teacher. 

It is mainly through the songs and dances the tribes seek to satisfy their inner urge for revealing their soul. The performance of these only give expression to their inner feelings, their joys and sorrows, their natural affections and passion and their appreciatlon of beauty in nature and in man.20



The Juangs of Keonjhar are exposed mainly to the social and economic problem like all other tAbals of Orissa. Though they have experienced many socio­economic changes including religious beliefs under government plans and projects in the Juang inhabited areas of the district under tribals sub-plan schemes their material culture is at stake. In the name of development there plan and proposals should be implemented very consciously in the strict sense to preserve the originality of the tribe. Otherwise they have loose their tribal character and get themselves assimilated with the Hindu society.

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