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Sauras

The Sauras are one of the most ancient tribes in Orissa mentioned in Hindu myths and classics, notably the purans. Saura men are marathon walkers. They are also expert climbers and hunters, with a habit of carrying an axe on one sholder. Saura villages are generally inaccessible, hidden in the folds of mountain and reached only by negotiating steep and zigzag path.

Souras are mainly concentrated in and around the paralakhemundi and the gunupur area of south orissa. They are called by various names such as sabara, soura, sora etc and have their racial affinity with the proto -austroloid physical feature which are dominant among the aborgines of central and southern india. The soura from their appearance resembles the other predravidian tribes.They have long heads, flat noses, with expanded alae.The brow ridges are prominent , but not to a great extent like the kondhs. There is a depression at the root of the nose. The hair is generally waivy and curly and the skin colour is brown to dark brown. The souras are not strongly built like the kondhs, but they are better in body built in comparison to the tribes of north orissa.

The most noteworthy point is their efficiency in climbing and walking on hills. There is hardly anything distinctive about the dress of a soura man which consists of loin cloth about 6 ft long and 10 inches breadth. This may be plain or may be decorated with red tarsels at the ends. Occassionally they wear a single necklace of beads, a traditional dress of a soura womam is a waist cloth with grey border which hardly reaches the knee. The skirt is about three ft in length and about two ft in breadth and for the upper part they wear another piece of cloth.

The soura women do not use huge bundle of necklaces of beads and metals. A few necklaces of beads, round wooden plugs, spiral rings made of grass, bell metal or alluminium in the fingers and toes,little rings in the alae of nose, and metal anklets are worn by the women . The soura villages are situated in the most in-accessible areas and in many cases lie hidden in forest clad hills making it difficult to reach them except through zig -zag steep hill paths. They build their houses on the slope or foot of the hills. Souras are the best terraced cultivators.
 
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