Odisha Tribes (India)


The Konds are a tribal group found in the hills and jungles of Orissa in eastern India. The name Kond (also Khond, Kondh, or Kandha) translates as “mountaineer” and probably comes from the Dravidian word konda meaning “hill.” The Konds refer to themselves in their own tongue as Ku.

Today, Konds fall into two broad divisions. The Hill or Maliah Konds, who are numerically the dominant group, inhabit the interior uplands and have retained much of their original tribal culture. The Plains Konds have had extended contact with the Oriya-speaking peoples of the lowlands and have adopted many aspects of Hindu religion and culture. The Kond tribe has a number of sub-tribes, for instance, the Dongria, Kovi, Kuttia, Languli, Penga, and Jharnia. Raj Konds are virtually a caste or sub-caste of Konds who are landowners.

Celebrating the gifts of Mother Earth on the last day of the year, near Rayagada, Odisha.

Wednesday market at Chatikona.

Highly ornamented Dongaria Kondha and Desia Kondha villages of Niyamagiri area bring their produce to sell.

Onkadelli Market

Onkadelli is a particularly popular tribal produce market, with Bonda, Mali, Kondh and Paraja people attending to buy and sell fruit, vegetables, dried fish, condiments, utensils, objects of daily life as well as handicrafts fashioned by the dokra (lost-wax) method of metal casting.


The Bonda (also known as the Bondo, Bondo Poraja, Bhonda, or Remo) are a Munda ethnic group approximately 12,000 (2011 census) who live in the isolated hill regions of the Malkangiri district of southwestern Odisha, India, near the junction of the three states of Odisha, Chhattisgarh, and Andhra Pradesh.

There are two different Bonda tribes: the Upper Bondas with a population of 6,700 who are the most isolated from mainstream Indian society, and the Lower Bonda with a population of 17,000. Upper Bondas have almost no connection to the outside world.


The Gadabas are an ethnic group of eastern India. They are a designated Scheduled Tribe in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh

There are 84,689 Gadabas in Odisha and 38,081 in Andhra Pradesh as per the 2011 Indian census. Their socioeconomic life is based on farming and daily labour. They are involved in both Slash-and-burn and plow cultivation. They live in permanent villages. They are well known for their tribal dance, the Dhemsa. The Gadabas speak Gutob and Ollari, which are Austroasiatic and Dravidian languages respectively. Since the early 1980s the Gadabas have largely been displaced from their villages by the building of hydro-electric dams and the resulting lakes.

Gadaba women traditionally wear neck rings which are about 500-700 grams each and can not be removed without the help of a blacksmith. As a part of their tradition, it is only removed after their death. A Gadaba woman traditionally wears a two-piece dress which is very colorful, often striped in red, blue and white, which is woven by the women themselves. The ornaments they wear are not very different from those of other tribes

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