Muria Tribe – Tribe of Bastar Chhattisgarh

The pyramids of Egypt attract the attention of the whole world, they are included in the eight wonders of the world. But there are no less wonders in Bastar too. There is a similar tradition here, in which a memorial is made after the death of a family member. Even if it is not as grand as Egypt, but it is definitely unique. This tradition is known as the Dead Pillar. The practice of making dead pillars is more prevalent in the Mudiya and Muria tribe in South Bastar.

In the local language, they are called “Gudi”. In ancient times, a wide and sharp stone 6 to 7 feet high was placed where the ancestors were buried in the tribes. The stones were brought from a distant hill and other people of the village helped in bringing them.

Muria Tribe Overview

Muria means primitive.
Major deities: Lingopen, Mahadev, Budhadev, Thakurdev.
Languages: Gondi, Halbi.

Muria tribe is a sub-branch of Gond. In Chhattisgarh state, this tribe is settled in Kondagaon, Narayanpur and Bijapur districts. The Kakasar, Mandri, Gendi, Hulkipata, Gedi and Abeltor dances performed by this tribe are famous. Verrier Alvin wrote the book The Muria and their Ghotul (1947).

Muria tribe rituals
credit : bastar.gov.in
Muria Ghotul
Credit : bastar.gov.in

Ghotul : Tradition of Social Acceptance

The tradition Ghotul is celebrated in the Maria tribe of the tribal areas of Chhattisgarh, boys and girls coming to Ghotul are allowed to choose their life partner. Ghotul has also got social acceptance. Ghotul is a mud hut built on the edge of the village. Sometimes Ghotul has an open pavilion instead of walls.

There is a youth house. Where young men and women teach the lesson of social life and also choose life partner for themselves.

Parghana Manjhi – Leader of Muria Tribe

Mudiya is the head. Muria Darbar is held at the end of Bastar Dussehra. Where the problems of Manjhi-Mukhiya and villagers are resolved.

Unique Festival Celebration

Dussehra the auspicious festival in Sanatana dharma begins here with Hariyali Amavasya falling in the month of Shravan (Sawan). On this day the first wood is brought from the forest to make the chariot. This ritual is called Pat Jatra.

The festival lasts till after Dussehra and ends with the Muria Darbar ritual that means 74 days long dussehra celebration. In this ritual, the Maharaja of Bastar listens to the problems of the people by holding the court. This festival is the longest celebrated festival of the country.

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