The parji speaking Dravidian tribe of Koraput are known as "paraja". It is one of the many tribes residing in Koraput district of Southern Orissa. Its regional fame is partly due to an Oriya novel Paraja by the famous novelist late Gopinath Mohanty(1945), which has been translated into many languages. The tribe Paraja is divided into different sub-groups viz., Sodia, Jadia and Parenga; each of them seems to be a separate ethnic group. The Paraja are claimed as the ancient in-habitants of the Nandapur area of Koraput district of Orissa. Paroja is a debased form of Sanskrit "praja" meaning ryot or peasant-subject of the king or feudal lord. The local populace, all composed of tribal groups, were accustomed to observe various festivals. These festivals combine Hindu and tribal rituals. Even after abolition of kingship many festivals or Parab (derived from "Parba") are still in vogue. One such Parab viz. "Nandi Parab"......... more
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