are recognized as a tribe, though in belief and practices they appear to
be a Hindu caste. They are dark complexioned medium height settled
cultivators occupying the plain-land areas in Central to North Orissa (Keonjhar
and Mayurbhanj district). They claim to be descendants of great warriors
who, in past, successfully defended their territory against the Kharia
and the Gond invaders. Probably, these people were the
militia of the Hindu local Kings and since then lost their own mother
tongue and animistic religion. The Bathudi people enjoyed
cultivable land and their chiefs became powerful under the princely
rulers. They still have their weapons like swords, spears, bows and
arrows. Different rituals of Bathudi are conducted by Brahmin
priest, marking their Hinduization. They have several exogamous ‘gotra’
or clans named like the Hindu castes and community functionaries who guide
them in social matters. Yet they maintain distinct social
identity. The legends on their origin indicate their
uniqueness. Some such legends appear in this issue courtesy The Biyot
As against a large
tribal community like Bathudi of Orissa, the Toto of Bengal
are numerically very samll and limited to the hilly terrains of
North Bengal. In fact they are facing extinction and have attracted the
attention of various development agencies. Manas Chowdhuri's article in
this issue throws some light into their living conditions and problems
No tribe is without
its dance and music, rather the tribes can be differentiated on the basis
of their dance forms. In the article the Rythms in the Hills by Rabi
Narayana Dash, the intricacies of the tribal dances have been dealt that
reveal the relationship between the dance forms with the earlier forms of
In between the
numerical strengths of the Bathudi and the Toto, lies the dwindling
population of Bondo
hill dwellers of Koraput district of Orissa. They have so long lived a secluded life, shrouded in mystery.
They never liked intruders and caused fear in the outsiders. It is long
time since Verrier Elwin entered their territory in mid-twentieth century.
In the article Ethnographic Profile of High land Bonda of Orissa , Ramesh Prasad Mohanty has provided a
glimpse into social, cultural and economic aspects of Bonda life.
aspects of tribal population of Orissa relating to their health have been
highlighted by Bipin Bihari Hota in his article in this issue.
Member, Orissa Legislative
Constituency: Jashipur, Mayurbhanj
Three times MLA (1985-90, 1995-2000, 2004 - )
Mr. Naik belongs to
Bathudi community and thus he speaks:
"I believe in
Marxism and belong to the political party Socialist Unity Centre Of India
(SUCI). I fight against exploitation. I take up their causes who are
neglected materially and whose human dignity is violated."
" In my
opinion, the eviction of tribal people from the lands on which they have
been depending for their livelihood is the most pressing problem"
Orissa Assembly, I have taken up the issues not only
of tribals but also the issues involving the interest of the
people of Orissa mainly the ones related to education."