When it comes to Unity in Diversity, India has always ranked on top. This is a country where one can spot population of different castes, creed, religion all living together. Among the assortment of culture, one such prominent civilization seen in India is tribal culture. A major portion of Indian population is covered by tribal. You must have probably never thought but the number of different tribes in India is far more than counting on fingers.
When we talk about rich tribal living in India, Korku tribe of Madhya Pradesh have to be on the list. The population belonging to Korku Tribe dwells in Chhindwara, Hoshangabad and Betul. This tribal population is also scattered in some parts of Maharashtra like Akola, Morshi and Melghat talukas.
The word ‘Korku’ means group of humans and people of this community speak Kolarian language. Korku tribe is observed as the most backward and poor tribe in MP hence most of the Korkus are under poverty and are deprived from right to development. This tribe community still and evidently follows male domination culture. Women perform all the household duties while men are considered as Head of the Family who look after main purchase and sale like land, ornaments, cattle etc. Majority of the Korkus live in a big joint family.
The Korku women are well decked up with their traditional ornaments made up of brass, iron and alloy. A little upper class in Korku also wear silver ornaments. You can see them usually tattooed (gondai). They wear lugdua and choli. Men wear the traditional dhoti, bandi and Angocha on head.
Korkus live in huts made up of bamboo and wood. The houses are built usually built in front of each other. Every house has a fireplace in front of it. Some well to do Korkus have house of iron sheet roof and tile flooring.
Since this tribal community dwells in hilly region, their staple food consists of Jawar, Bajra, Corn and kutki. They also consume Lachka to beat their hunger. They also eat pork, fish, buffalo, crab and birds.
Like most of the tribal communities of our society, even Korkus occupation are agriculture, animal husbandry, cultivation, fisheries and also hunt animals.
Korkus are believers of Lord Shiva. They also worship Dogand Devta, Meghnad, Murda Dev and Moon. Korkus have a ritual to worship their dead. They build a memorial of pillar for the dead and worship them, they call them as Munda dev.
Festivals they celebrate:
Most of Korku festivals are influenced from Hinduism. They celebrate major Indian festivals like Dussehra, Diwali, Holi. Apart from these their traditional festivals are Karam- harvest festival, Hari Joroti Festival – beginning of Agricultural season, Dev Dussehra, Pola and Madhya Dussehra.
This scheduled tribe community belongs to extremely weak economical section. Most of the Korku community children are dying of malnutrition, barely any development plans are implemented to bring their economical condition to normal. However the government is working on remedial programs to decline the rise of death of this tribal population.