Baiga women in traditional dress
|Regions with significant populations|
|Chhattisgarhi • Hindi •Regional languages|
The Baiga are an ethnic group found in central India primarily in the state of Madhya Pradesh, and in smaller numbers in the surrounding states of Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. The largest number of Baiga is found in Baiga-chuk in Mandla district and Balaghat district of Madhya Pradesh. They have sub-castes: Bijhwar, Narotia, Bharotiya, Nahar, Rai Bhain and Kadh Bhaina. The Baiga are a Munda or Kolarian people(part of the Bhuiya tribe) located in the central highlands of India. The name Baiga means "sorcerer- medicine man".
The Baiga are designated as a Scheduled tribe in much of Uttar Pradesh. The 2011 Census of India for that state showed those so classified as numbering 17,387.They are, however, designated as a Scheduled Tribe in Sonbhadra district.
The Baiga do not plow the land, because they say it would be a sin to scratch the breast of their Mother, and they could never ask their Mother to produce food from the same patch of earth time and time again: she would have become weakened. The Baiga tribes practice shifting cultivation, called 'bewar' or 'dahiya'.
Live-in relationships are common among the Baiga. If marriage does take place, the man compensates the woman's family for the loss of a working member. This reverse dowry either involves footing the bill of the marriage celebration or offering the woman's family mahua liquor. If divorced, the new husband must compensate the old one for the dowry amount. If the divorced couple have children, the wife has the first right, followed by the husband. If neither wants to raise the child, the community will allot a guardian to the child until age 15.
The Baigas in Chhattisgarh are classified as Particularly vulnerable tribal group(PVTG) by Government due to their declining population and low level of literacy.The Government of India has notified 75 PVTG which reside in 18 states and one UT which are classified on the basis of five criteria and in Chhattisgarh Baigas along with Abhujmaria, Kamar, Pahadi Korwa and Birhor are included in this group.The women of these tribes were not provided reproductive rights like right to use contraceptives but in 2018 on a Public Interest Litigation Chhattisgarh High Court allowed them to have access to contraceptives.The Baigas were found to be highly focused on family planning.
It is believed that the ancestors of the Baigas spoke an Austroasiatic language, however no trace of it is left now.[ citation needed ] Some Baigas (specifically those from the Mandla district) have mentioned "Baigani" as their mother tongue in the past: Baigani is now recognised as a variety of Chhattisgarhi influenced by Gondi. Most Baigas communicate with outsiders in Hindi, and some of them also know a few local languages such as Gondi and Marathi depending on the region where they live.
Tattooing is an integral part of their lifestyle. This tribe inhabits the dense hilly forests in the eastern part of the Satpuras, in Shahdol, Bilaspur, Rajnandgaon, Mandla and Balaghat districts.
It is believed that this tribe is an offshoot of the Bhuiya tribe of Chhota Nagpur. A distinguishing feature of the Baiga tribe is that their women are famous for sporting tattoos of various kinds on almost all parts of their body. The women who work as tattooing artists belong to the Ojha, Badni and Dewar tribes of Madhya Pradesh are called Godharins. They are extremely knowledgeable about the different types of tattoos preferred by various tribes. Their mothers traditionally pass on this knowledge to them. Tattooing amongst the tribals commences with the approach of winter and continues until summer.
Baiga cuisine primarily consists of coarse grains, such as kodo millet and kutki, and involves very little flour. Another staple food of the baiga is pej, a drink that can be made from ground macca or from the water left from boiling rice. They supplement this diet with food from the forest, including many fruits and vegetables. They hunt, primarily fish and small mammals.
Since the 1960s, the Baiga have been the victims of forced evictions at the hands of the Indian authorities.These are often carried out in the name of conservation, in an attempt to protect the tiger populations, but have disastrous consequences for the displaced communities.
Chhattisgarh is one of the 28 states of India and is located in East-Central India. The state was formed on 1 November 2000 and was earlier part of its neighboring state, Madhya Pradesh.
Madhya Pradesh is a state in central India. Its capital is Bhopal, and the largest city is Indore, with Jabalpur, Gwalior, Rewa, Ujjain being the other major cities. Madhya Pradesh is the second largest Indian state by area and the fifth largest state by population with over 75 million residents. It borders the states of Uttar Pradesh to the northeast, Chhattisgarh to the southeast, Maharashtra to the south, Gujarat to the west, and Rajasthan to the northwest. Before 2000, when Chhattisgarh was a part of Madhya Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh was the largest state in India and the distance between the two furthest points inside the state, Singoli and Konta, was 1500 km.
Gondwana is a region of India, named after the Gondi people who live there. The name of the ancient continent of Gondwanaland was derived from Gondwana, because some of the earliest rock formations of this continent were first investigated in part of the region, in modern Odisha.
The Gondi (Gōndi) or Gond or Koitur are an Indian ethnic group. They speak the Gondi language which is a Dravidian language. They are one of the largest tribal groups in India. They are spread over the states of Madhya Pradesh, eastern Maharashtra (Vidarbha), Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Odisha. They are listed as a Scheduled Tribe for the purpose of India's system of positive discrimination. They are an Adivasi group of India
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Kanha Tiger Reserve, also known as Kanha–Kisli National Park, is one of the tiger reserves of India and the largest national park of the state of Madhya Pradesh. The present-day Kanha area is divided into two protected areas, Hallon and Banjar, of 250 and 300 km2, respectively. Kanha National Park was created on 1 June 1955 and was designated a tiger reserve in 1973. Today, it encompasses an area of 940 km2 (360 sq mi) in the two districts Mandla and Balaghat.
Sidhi District is one of the tribal districts of Madhya Pradesh state of India. The town of Sidhi is the district headquarters. The district is part of Rewa Division.
Umaria district is a district of Madhya Pradesh. The town of Umaria is the district headquarters. The district is part of Shahdol Division.
Balaghat district is a district of Madhya Pradesh state in Central India. The town of Balaghat serves as its administrative headquarters.
Mandla District is a district of Madhya Pradesh in central India. The town of Mandla is administrative headquarters of the district. It is part of Jabalpur Division.
Anuppur District (अनूपपुर) is an administrative district in Shahdol Division of Madhya Pradesh state in central India.
Madhya Pradesh, often called the Heart of India, is a state in central India. Its capital is Bhopal. Madhya Pradesh was originally the largest state in India until November 1, 2000 when the state of Chhattisgarh was carved out. It borders the states Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan.
There are 46 recognized Scheduled Tribes in Madhya Pradesh, India, three of which have been identified as 'Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PTGs)(formerly known as 'Special Primitive Tribal Groups'). The population of Scheduled Tribals (ST) is 21.1% of the state population, according to the 2011 census. Bounded by the Narmada River to the north and the Godavari River to the southeast, tribal peoples occupy the slopes of the region's mountains.
The Agariya are community of the states of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh in India. Those in the vicinity of Mirzapur were involved in mining and smelting iron during the British Raj.
The Maikal Hills are range of hills in the state of Chhattisgarh India. The Maikal Hills are an eastern part of the Satpuras in Kawardha District of Chhattisgarh, overlooking the scenic town of Kawardha. they have an altitude ranging from 340 m to 941 m above sea level. This densely forested and thinly populated range gives rise to several streams and rivers including the tributaries of Narmada and Wainganga rivers. The hills are inhabited by two tribal peoples, the Baigas and the Gonds. The hill range is very rich in flora and fauna wealth.
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The Bhuyan are an indigenous community found in the Indian states of Assam, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. They are not only geographically disparate but also have many cultural variations and subgroups.
Particularly vulnerable tribal group (PVTG) is a government of India classification created with the purpose of enabling improvement in the conditions of certain communities with particularly low development indices.
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