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Kondha woman

The Kondha are indigenous tribal groups of India. They live in Odisha, a state in eastern India. Their highest concentration is found in the blocks of Rayagada, Kashipur, Kalyansinghpur, Bissam cuttack and Muniguda.

The Kondhas are believed to be from the Proto-Australoid ethnic group. Their native language is Kui, a Dravidian language written with the Oriya script. The Kondha are adept land dwellers exhibiting greater adaptability to the forest environment. However, due to development interventions in education, medical facilities, irrigation, plantation and so on, they are forced into the modern way of life in many ways. Their traditional life style, customary traits of economy political organization, norms, values and world view have been drastically changed over a long period.


One sub-group of Kondhas is the Dongria Kondhas. They inhabit Rayagada, Koraput and Kalahandi districts. Their major concentration is found in the blocks of Kalyansinghpur, Bissam Cuttack and Muniguda. They are called Dongria or dweller of donger ("hill" in Oriya) and settle in higher altitudes due to their economic demands. The Dongria Kondh call themselves Jharnia meaning those who live by the Jharana (streams). Hundreds of perennial streams flow from Niyamgiri hill, and there are hundreds of Dongria villages by the streams. The Dongria are considered the protectors of these streams, hills and jungles by the people of the nearby plains. Some Kondha tribes live in Gajapati district.


They have a subsistence economy based on foraging, hunting & gathering but they now primarily depend on a subsistence agriculture i.e. shifting cultivation or slash and burn cultivation or Podu. The Dongria Kondh are excellent fruit farmers. The most striking feature of the Dongria kondhas is that they have adapted to horticulture and grow pineapple, oranges, turmeric, ginger and papaya in plenty. Forest fruit trees like mango and jackfruit are also found in huge numbers, which fulfill the major dietary chunk of the Dongrias. Besides, the Dongrias practice shifting cultivation, or podu chasa as it is locally called, as part of an economic need retaining the most primitive features of underdevelopment and cultural evolution.

Traditional Medicinal Rice of Niyamgiri Hills


The Dongria family is often nuclear, although extended families are found. Female family members are considered assets because of their contribution inside and outside the household and women are on equal footing with the male members in constructing a house to cultivation. Women do all the work for household ranging from fetching water from the distant streams, cooking, serving food to each member of the household to cultivating, harvesting and marketing of produce in the market. Due to this, the bride price is paid to her parents when she gets married which is a striking feature of the Dongrias. However, the family is patrilineal and patrilocal.

The Dongrias commonly practice polygamy. By custom, marriage must cross clan boundaries (a form of incest taboo). The clan or "Puja" is exogamous, which means marriages are made outside the clan (yet still within the greater Dongoria population). The form of acquiring mate is often by capture or force or elopement. However, marriage by negotiation is also practiced. The Dongrias have a dormitory for adolescent girls and boys which forms a part of their enculturation and education process. The girls sleep at night in the dormitory (Daa Sala) and learn social taboos, myths, legends, stories, riddles, proverbs amidst singing and dancing the whole night, thus learning the way of the sacred feminine.

The Dongrias are great admirer of aesthetic romanticism. Their personal adornment is unique with each male and female member using hair clips, ear rings neck rings, hand rings made up of brass, iron and Hindalium prepared by themselves as well as purchased from local markets. Body tattooing is practiced by both sexes.

Religious beliefs[edit]

The Dongria have syncretic beliefs combining animism. Their pantheon has both the common Hindu gods and their own. The gods and goddesses are always attributed to various natural phenomena, objects, trees, animals, etc. They have a god or deity for everything and anything. The Dongrias give highest importance to the Dharani penu (the Earth god) and Niyam penu (associated with Niyamgiri Hill), who is held to be the creator and sustainer of the Dongria. For instance, in a house, there is a deity for both the back and front street, kitchen, living room, implements and so on and so forth.

In the Dongria society, a breach of accepted religious conduct by any member of their society invites the wrath of spirits in the form of lack of rain fall, soaking of streams, destruction of forest produce, and other natural calamities. Hence, the customary laws, norms, taboos, and values are greatly adhered to and enforced with high to heavy punishments, depending upon the seriousness of the crimes committed.

As with any culture, the ethical practices of the Dongria reinforce the economic practices that define the people. Thus, the sacredness of the mountains perpetuates tribal socio-economics, whereas outside cultures that neglect the sacredness of the land find no problem in committing deforestation, strip-mining etc.

For social control in the village and at the muttha level (regional), the Kondha religion requires a tradition of hereditary religious leaders, such as Jani (religious head), Mondal (secular head), Bejuni (sorcerer), Barik (messenger) to co-ordinate and decide, by holding a meeting, where punishment or appeasement are to be awarded. The procedure is usually followed by sacrifices of buffaloes and cocks. The punishment may be in cash or kind and may lead to ostracism from the community, if not obeyed.

Social and environmental concerns[edit]

Vedanta Resources, a UK based mining company, is threatening the future of this tribe as their home the Niyamgiri Hill is rich in bauxite.[1] The bauxite is also the reason there are so many perennial streams. The tribe's plight is the subject of a Survival International short film narrated by actress Joanna Lumley.[2] In 2010 India's environment ministry ordered Vedanta Resources to halt a sixfold expansion of an aluminium refinery in Odisha.[3][4] As part of its Demand Dignity campaign, in 2011 Amnesty International published a report concerning the rights of the Dongria Kondh.[5] Vedanta has appealed against the ministerial decision, but the tribal leaders have promised to continue their struggle whatever the decision in a key hearing before India's supreme court (in April 2012).[6]

In a case of life seeking to imitate art, the tribe appealed to James Cameron to help them stop Vedanta, reckoning that the author of the film Avatar, which deals with a similar subject, would understand their plight. An advertisement in Variety magazine said: "Appeal to James Cameron. Avatar is fantasy … and real. The Dongria Kondh tribe in India are struggling to defend their land against a mining company hell-bent on destroying their sacred mountain. Please help the Dongria."[7] Other celebrities backing the campaign include Arundhati Roy (the Booker prize-winning author), as well as the British actors Joanna Lumley and Michael Palin.[6] Lingaraj Azad, a leader of the Save Niyamgiri Committee, said the Dongria Kondh's campaign was "not just that of an isolated tribe for its customary rights over its traditional lands and habitats, but that of the entire world over protecting our natural heritage".[6]

See also[edit]

Lodu Sikaka, Kondha tribal chief


External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kondha — Please support Wikipedia.
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741 videos foundNext > 

Karuna konda / Divine Mercy Rosary

The copyright of the audio is with Shalom Television.

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We enter Kondha Desert, and we have to speak to Logan Spiralglider. Then we have to defeat some Common Killers and some Death Stalkers. If you enjoyed ...

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3rd overworld theme for the Kondha Desert zone in Khrysalis. Remember to hit that 'Subscribe'! Follow me on Twitter :: https://twitter.com/EdwardRubyR.

♪Wizard101 Soundtrack: Khrysalis Kondha Desert Theme♫

Special Thanks to: Umbra Shadowhunter Twitter-@Umbra9649.

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Story of Cholera in Kui Kondha

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Vedanta vs Dongria Kondha tribals, sacred hills battle, London

This report follows members of Indian tribe, the Dongria Kondh, from Orissa as they take their battle against Vedanta's mine on Dongria land to London.

Dongria Kondha

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Dongria Kondha

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Dongria Kondha

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741 videos foundNext > 

43 news items


Sat, 25 Jul 2015 20:56:15 -0700

The management of sacred groves varies from site to site and within different ethnicity, such as Kantabansini Thakuramma, of Koraput district is managed by two clans of Paraja tribe, Sapangada, is worshipped by the entire Kutia Kondha Community in ...
Economic Times
Wed, 01 Apr 2015 19:42:51 -0700

Kondha Region: Odisha The Kondha tribe are the indigenous tribal groups of India. They live in Odisha and their highest concentration is found in the blocks of Rayagada, Kalyansinghpur, Bissam Cuttack and Muniguda and Kashipur in Uttarakhand.
Times of India
Thu, 11 Jun 2015 14:41:56 -0700

The other collaborators from Nagpur include Sevadal Mahila Mahavidyalaya, Shivaji Science College, Mohta Science College, Aakar Bahuddeshiya Sanstha, Arun Motghare College, Kondha - Kosara, Bhandara, PDPV College Tasgaon, LBS College, Satara ...


Sat, 28 Feb 2015 23:23:41 -0800

In this annual festival, the Kondha community comprising of the Dongria Kondh, Kutia Kondh and Jharania Kondh celebrate their relationship with their god- their Nyamgiri hills- their Niyam Raja. They vow to protect their forests which have an ...


Sat, 08 Nov 2014 21:03:45 -0800

Rubina and her daughter were with Rubina's mother when the news of talaq reached her. Her husband won't meet her or allow her to meet their son. With a strong urge to meet her son, she went to the village Kondha Kosra, where husband was then posted.

I am in dna of India

I am in dna of India
Wed, 04 Feb 2015 02:41:15 -0800

It is played by the male-members of the Bhuiyan, Bathudi, Kharia, Juanga, Mechi and Kondha communities of Sundergarh, Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj and Phulbani. The dance in accompaniment to the Changu is performed by women. The men only sing songs, ...


Sat, 11 Jan 2014 05:51:05 -0800

Victory for 'Avatar' tribe as India rejects miner's plans. Remote tribe defeats bid by British resources giant Vedanta to mine in the hills they regard as sacred. Sikuka Sani (26) a Dongria Kondha tribesman passionately voices his objections to the ...
Tue, 28 Oct 2014 22:36:55 -0700

Irrefutably, Orissa has the biggest number of tribes as 24 percent of the aggregate populace of the state is possessed by the indigenous Individuals, Among the tribes, the Kondha or Kandha tribes of Orissa is the biggest tribe of the state as far as ...

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