The Oraon is the largest populated tribal group (1048064 as per 1991 census) of the Chotnagpur plateau in Jharkhand (earlier in Bihar) state of India. These tribal people are mainly concentrated in rural areas of Ranchi, Gumla, Lohardaga, Hazaribagh and Palamu districts of the state and they have been living with other tribal and Hindu caste people since long past. However with the passage of time, they have migrated to different parts of the country during pre and post Independent era in search of their livelihood (as manual labour). They have their own language called Kurukh, which belongs to the Dravidian linguistic family (Grierson 1927). The people like to follow their traditional life and culture which is reflected in their material culture namely house type, household utensils, furniture, dress, ornaments, tattoo marks, agricultural, hunting and fishing implements, musical instruments, food and drinks etc.; economic organization i.e. division of labour on the basis of age and gender, method of paddy cultivation, strong social organization, socialization process, political and religious organization, customary laws etc. They have passed through gathering stage and later on developed .the settled agricultural economy. (Vidiyarthi 1981:85). The society is patriarchal, patrilinial. They follow the age-old culture, tradition, customs and value system in their life. The people have totemic clans or gotra, which are named after birds, animals, fishes, plants, vegetables and minerals. (Archer 1940, Schwalbe 1983, Roy 1984, 1985, Srivastava 1992, Duary 1999)......... more
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