The “Gadaba”, an Indian tribe.

Gadaba girls dancing. India.

The Gadaba are one of the most primitive tribes of India. They live in the forests of Orissa ( an indian state). Their population is estimated at something like 80.000. Their main source of livelihood is agriculture. Besides it is supplemented by the collection of forest produces, hunting and fishing. But these activities are seasonal and are practised more as an habit than anything else.

They believe in many gods and goddesses, the main one being the goddess Thakurani. They also believe in ghosts and spirits. Through the year, various festivals are held : they are celebrated with care, sincerity, devotion and fear. All these festivities are not expensive ( Gadaba are very poor people), but they are celebrated with great joy, people dancing and drinking for days.

Because they are coquette, the Gadaba women are fond of wearing brass or aluminium ornaments to decorate their bodies. Generally, the girls marry at the age of 14 or 15 years old and the boys at 19 or 20. Marriages within each Gadaba clan are prohibited. ( The Gadaba are divided in five clans) Divorce is permitted if there is the approval of the tribal council, every village having its own council. In such cases, the husband has to pay some compensation to the divorced wife. In case of being divorced, he gets some money ( or any other compensation) from the new husband of the divorced wife.

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One Response to The “Gadaba”, an Indian tribe.

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