Saturday, August 18, 2018
Bihar

The People


The Oraons

The Oraons are Dravidian-speaking, short-stature, narrow headed and broad-nosed people living mostly in the Ranchi and Palamu districts. They are divided into several clans or gotras. There are many resemblances between the Oraons and Mundas. The Oraons are much less conservative and exclusive than Mundas. Oraon youths have their hair tied in a knot behind and a small mirror stuck in it and ornaments in their ears. The headman of their village is called the Mahto and the official who presides over their spiritual affairs is the Pahan.

The Oraons employ methods of cultivation which are much advanced compared with those of other tribes in Bihar. Their most important social institution is the Dhumkuria or the boy's youth dormitory, an institution which has put them on the ethnographic map of the world.

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