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Gond Tribe of India

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Gonds Tribe of India: Gonds refers to a group of aboriginal peoples, officially designated as Scheduled Tribes of central and south-central India, with a population of about two million in number. They live mostly in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, and Odisha. The majority of the Gonds spoke in various languages, but mostly in dialects of Gondi, an not scripted language of the Dravidian family. Gonds are subdivided into four tribes:

  1. Raj Gonds
  2. Madia Gonds
  3. Dhurve Gonds
  4. Khatulwar Gonds


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Gond Tribe of India Map


History of the Gond Tribe Of India

One of the earliest kingdoms of the Gonds was Chanda, founded in 1200, and the first defined revenue system was introduced in the Kingdom of Chanda. An extensive irrigation system was developed by the Kingdom of Chanda. They started building forts.

The previous Kalachuri rulers had been deposed by Jaduri in the 14th century and came to establish the Kingdom of Garha, and Rani Durgavati is one of the most famous warrior queens of Garha Mandla. The Gond kingdoms came under the sway of the Mughals for some time, but eventually, the Gond rajas were restored and put under the hegemony of the Mughals. Until the Third Anglo-Maratha War, the territories of Gonds were occupied by Marathas; a bit later British took over the revenue collection by controlling the influential Gond Zamindars. The colonial forest management policies of the British marginalized the Gonds. The Gonds depended on forests for their livelihoods, but their rights were snatched, which led to the Bastar Rebellion in 1910.

In the early 1920s, Komaram Bheem, a Gond leader from Adilabad, rebelled against the Nizam and sought a separate Gond raj and coined the slogan, “Jal, Jangal, Jamee.” In 1916, Gondi intellectuals from various parts of Gondwana formed Gond Mahasabha to protect the culture of Gondi from the influence of outside forces. In the 1990s, Heera Singh Markam and Kausalya Porte founded Gondwana Ganatantra Party to fight for their statehood.

Culture: Gond Tribes Of India

Gond Tribe is rich culturally, and their traditions feature cottage industry practices which include pottery, basket weaving, and also painting floors. Art holds a very important position in their festivities, and they practice stonework and woodwork as well as carving memorials, pillars, and also house decorations and has gained interest internationally.

Gond Tribes Of India Language

They belong to the group of the Dravidian family of languages and are related to Tamil and Kannada, and language offers a cultural connection between the different gond groups.

Gond Tribes Of India Folklore

Pardhans, who are hereditary bards and professional storytellers, tell stories about the Gond legends and their myths. Rich oral tradition is felt from the same. The stories say that when the Gond gods were born, their mother abandoned them. Goddess Parvati rescued them but her consort Sri Shambhu Mahadeo kept them captive in a cave. Pahandi Kapar Lingal, who was a Gond hero, received the help of a goddess known as Jangu Bai, rescued them, and came out of the cave in four groups, laying the foundations of the basic fourfold division of Gond society.

Gond Tribes Of India Festivals

The Gond tribe has its own set of festivities apart from the regional ones. Worship of gods related to their clan, family, cattle, field, and diseases. They believe in nature spirits, and every village worshipped two beings- the village guardian and village matriarch. Both men and women enjoy wearing heavy silver ornaments, and women wear colored glass bangles, and most people have tattoos on their bodies.

Sacrificial practices, tending to the clan shrines and totems, are done by priests, and the family festivities are done by the head of the family. Regional festivals celebrated by them are Nagpanchami, Dussehra, and Pola. A Gond custom is to do stick dance, and bands of young people travel from village to village, singing and dancing.

They have a close association with the idea of ritualism, and apart from animal sacrifices, they offer other commodities like coconuts, flowers, and fruits to gods; and attach their misfortunes to the anger of God while trusting the magicians to provide some relief.

Gond Tribes Of India Classification 

Gonds are designated as Scheduled Tribe in Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Telangana, Odisha, and also West Bengal.

Gond Tribes Of India Religion

The majority of the Gond people still follow their tradition of nature worship, but like many other tribal groups, their religion has also been influenced by Brahmanical Hinduism. Most Gondi practice either Brahmanical Hinduism or their own indigenous religion called Koyapunem. Some also practice Satanism. A small portion of Gonds is also Christian or Muslim.

Koyapunem

It was founded by Pari Kupar Lingo and is known as Gondi Punam. In Gond folk traditions, the worshippers worshipped a high god called Baradeo. Three people are important in gond religious ceremonies: biga (village priest),bhumka (clan priest), and kaser-gaita (leader of the village). An important principle of the religion was muntjak, which is non-violence, cooperation, and self-defense. 

Another part is Salla Gangra, which is similar to the karma principle of Hinduism. Many Gonds also worship Ravana, whom they consider to be the tenth dharmaguru of their people, ancestor-king of one of four lineages. They venerate plants and animals, especially the Saja tree.

Painting of Gond Tribe

Paintings of Gonds of Mandla and its surrounding regions have a colorful depiction of flora, humans, and animals. The paintings have a geometric design, which is done on the walls of huts. The paintings also depict gopis with pots on their heads and cows surrounding Krishna.

Gond Tribe Art

Gond Tribe Art

Administrative System

The authoritative arrangement of these realms was midway unified and was separated into different parts. These were especially constrained by the Gond faction and were additionally isolated into 84 towns known by Chaurasia. These Chourasia were additionally separated into bar hosts comprised of 12 towns each.

Gond Society

The Gond society was fundamentally isolated into equivalent social orders that continuously got separated into inconsistent social classes with the development of enormous states. The Brahmanas got the land awards from the Gond rajas and further turned out to be more persuasive. The Gond bosses currently wished to be perceived as the Rajputs. Aman Das, the Gond Raja of Garha Katanga, expected the title of Sangram Shah. Rani Durgawati was truly proficient and began administering for the benefit of their five-year-old son, Bir Narain, after her significant other Dalpat’s passing.

The Gonds were found in incredible numbers across the present-day territories of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Andhra Pradesh. Itinerant pastoralists moved over significant distances with their creatures. They lived on milk and other peaceful items.

Gond Tribe Of India Facts

The renowned narrative of The Jungle Book by author Rudyard Kiping includes the Gond tribe. The culture of the Gonds includes the practice of remarrying widows so that the women are not forced to endure the challenging and difficult conditions of society. Because of this, the Gond tribe does not have any widows.

Related Links

  1. Gonds different from the Ahoms
  2. Who were tribal people?
  3. How nomads and mobile people lived?
  4. List of Major Tribes in India

FAQs on Gond Tribe Of India

Where were the Gonds located?

The Gonds are located in the central and south-central India.

What are Gonds known for?

Gonds are known for their authentic and vibrant artworks and these are famous worldwide.

Is Gond the largest tribe in India?

The Gond comprises the largest tribal group in India of about 12 million and exceeding population.

Who is the god of Gonds?

The god of gonds is Baradeo.

Who is the famous king of the Gonds?

Sangram Shah is the famous king of Gonds.



Last Updated : 11 Dec, 2023
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