Virtual Tour to State Tribal Museum: The Bonda of Malkangiri

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Bhubaneswar: As a new venture of ST&SC Development Department, Odisha State Tribal Museum goes virtual. Today, the audience can visualize the Bonda of Malkangiri by opening the facebook and twitter pages @stscdev, @scstrti.
The Bonda of Malkangir lives in the remote highland, part of the Kondakamberu range of the Eastern Ghats. Living amidst rolling hills, the Bonda are an agrarian community who supplement their income with animal rearing and collection of seasonal forest produce.
Weaving of handloom clothes, bead necklace making, carpet weaving, broomstick making, vegetable cultivation, archery is their occupation. They speak ‘Munda’ language.
The Bondas are polytheists. They worship mostly the deities of nature like Patkhanda Maparabhu-the creater of Universe, Bursung-the mother of earth and the village goddess, Kapurchuan-the deity of stream, Dhartani-the deity of cowshed, Yuga and Renumgbor-the forest deities, Doliang-the spirit of mango tree, Kalia Rani-the spirit of lowland paddy field, Vinding Sagar-the spirit of musical drums. The village priest performs worship.
The unique style of personal appearances of the Bondas differentiates them from rest of the world. Bonda men wear a narrow strip of loin cloth. It is the women’s attire that is so remarkable. They wear heavy necklaces of beads and brass. Bonda women are known for their
extraordinary attire and shaven heads. A short multi-coloured skirt called ‘Ringa’ is the only garment of the Bonda women and is traditionally woven using ‘Kerang’ fiber. The Bonda villages are traditionally autonomous. Social order is maintained by a set of traditional
functionaries-Naik-the village chief, Challan-the organizer of village meeting, the Barik-the village messenger. Bonda have finer aspects of life that finds expression in their age old tradition of dance and music.

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