The “Parja” tribes, also as “Pahari Korwa” or “Pahari Korwa Parja,”.
So, one of the indigenous tribal communities is in the state of Chhattisgarh, India.
They primarily inhabit the Bastar region, which is in the southern part of Chhattisgarh.
Parja Tribe lifestyle
The Parja tribes have also a distinct culture and lifestyle that is close to their natural surroundings.
They are predominantly a forest-dwelling community and have traditionally relied on hunting, gathering, and shifting cultivation for their livelihoods.
However, with changing times and increasing government regulations, many Parja people have transitioned to settled agriculture or other occupations.
The tradition of the Parja Tribe
The Parja tribes have a rich oral tradition, and their folk songs and dances are an integral part of their cultural practices.
They celebrate various festivals and events with traditional music, dance, and rituals, which reflect their connection with nature and their ancestral beliefs.
Socially, the Parja tribes have a hierarchical structure, with village elders and leaders playing significant roles in decision-making processes. The community is for its close-knit social bonds and mutual cooperation.
Over the years, the Parja tribes have several challenges, including displacement due to development projects, land encroachments, and limited access to basic amenities such as education and healthcare. Efforts by the government and various organizations to address these issues and promote the welfare of the Parja tribes.
Origin of the Parja tribe
The Parja tribe is mainly in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh.
Their small population resides in Chhattisgarh also.
So, there are 595 men and 617 women.
The Parja tribe in the state is in the Bastar district.
They are also Dhurwa in Bastar.
There is no historical record regarding the origin of the Parja tribe, but Russell has considered it a sub-group of the Gond tribe.
The ancestors of the tribe are to have come from the state of Orissa in Bastar.
The Parja tribes trace their origin to the Sun.
According to Oriya’s opinion, the origin of Parja is to be from Po + Raja Porja, which means Po means son, and Raja means king.
That is, the Parja tribe is a group from the social head people of the tribal villages.
House of Parja Tribe
reside in Their house is usually made of mud with one or two rooms, in which there is a roof of wood, grass, or country tiles.
The walls of the house are painted with white or yellow mud.
The floor of the house is made of mud, which is coated with cow dung.
Household items include a grain bin, grain grinding mill, grain crushing pestle, some earthen and aluminum utensils, axe, and farming tools.
There are clothes, bamboo mats, baskets, etc. to cover. (Parja tribe Chhattisgarh) Men wear a small cloth wrapped around the waist.
The attire of Parja Tribe
Bandi is worn on the upper part of the body while going to the market.
Women wear a cloth made of thick cotton wrapped around the waist from above the knee.
Now young women have started wearing “polka”.
Women make buns in their hair.
Tattooing on hands, feet, face.
Women wear gilt or fake silver jewelery on their hands, feet, necks, noses, and ears.
Food of Parja Tribe
Their main food is Kodo, madiya, rice page, seasonal vegetables, urad, arhar, and kulthi pulses.
Different types of birds, chicken, goat, pig, rabbit, deer, Goh, squirrel, rat, fish, etc. are eaten in non-vegetarian.
Men and women drink liquor of Sulfi, Landa, and Mahua.
Men smoke beedi.
Business of the Parja tribe
Parja tribe mainly cultivate paddy on the slope of the hill like Madhia, Kodo, Urad, Arhar, Kulthi, and paddy in the flat part.
Due to the traditional farming method, unirrigated and stony land, the yield is very less, which is not enough for the whole year.
They collect tubers and vegetables from the forest and eat them.
Mahua, Lac, Tendupatta, Kosa, Gum, etc. are also collected and sold.
Some people go to work in the fields of other farmers.
Earlier used to hunt deer, chital, and sambar, do not hunt due to the government ban.
During the rainy season and after that, they catch fish for their own use from the local rivers and streams.
People of the Parja tribe also make bamboo mats and baskets.
Sub-castes of the Parja tribe
Parja tribes are divided into many sub-castes.
Their main sub-castes are Parangi Parja, Barengi (Jodia) Parja, Kond Parja, Gadba Parja, Dithai Parja, Pengu Parja, Mur Parja etc.
Pur Parja is in Bastar.
The sub-castes are divided into different clans.
In Bastar, their main clans are the tiger, Kashyap (tortoise), okra (goat), netam (dog), godi (god), pads (bird), naga (serpent), etc. Each Totem is found based on the animals of the tribe.
The tribe is an exogamous group.
The family in this tribe is patrilineal and patriarchal and the father’s residence is local.
No rites are found in pregnancy in the Parja tribe.
Delivery is done at home by the elderly women of the village.
The child is given a decoction of dry ginger, jaggery, and wild herbs.
Uthi rites are performed.
Children and pregnant women are bathed
Relatives are given alcohol.
Marriage is proposed by the groom’s side.
Boys get married at the age of 16 to 19 and girls at 13 to 17.
Years are considered. Boy-girl’s consent is considered essential in marriage.
Mostly boys and girls choose their life partners themselves.
The bridegroom gives rice, jaggery, lentils, and cash rupees to the bride’s father in the form of “suk” (bride money).
People from the bride’s side bring the bride to the groom’s house.
Here two pavilions are made and the work of applying turmeric to the groom’s house and phera is done by the elders of the caste.
Exchange marriage, service marriage, widow remarriage are recognized in the society. In cases of infiltration and co-emigration, the social panchayat provides social recognition to the couple by taking fine.
They bury the dead on death. His clothes, utensils, and some grains are left at the place of burial.
On the third day Pursha, San, gets the hair of the head shaved.
Let’s clean the house.
On the 10th day a death feast is performed after religious worship.
The traditional caste panchayat (social panchayat) is found in the Parja tribe.
The post of head of the caste panchayat is hereditary.
In the caste panchayat, disputes like marriage, divorce, immoral relations outside caste and caste, inheritance, etc. are settled in a traditional way.
Goddesses of the Parja tribe
The main goddess of the Parja tribe is Danteshwari Mata. Bhimsen Dev, Thakurdev, Budha Dev, Budhimai, etc. are also worshipped.
Their main festivals are Pola, Nawakhani, Hara, Diwali, Holi, etc.
On the occasion of festivals, liquor is offered to the gods and goddesses.
So, Every year a chicken is sacrificed to the deities.
There is a lot of belief in ghosts and witchcraft.
The religious priest and the person who removes witchcraft is “Sirha”.
The main folk dances of the Parja caste are the Parji dance, Kaksar, marriage dance, etc. His folk songs are Rilo, Karma, Dadriya, marriage songs, etc. Young men and women of this tribe dance at every festival, festive rituals.
People of this tribe speak the “Parji” dialect. In the 2011 census, literacy in the Parja tribe is as 55.2 percent. Male literacy was 64.4 percent and female literacy was 46.5 percent.