Bihar GK in English

Tribes of Bihar

As per the Census of 2011, the districts of Bihar having maximum population of Scheduled Tribes population are West Champaran (2.50 lakh), Katihar (1.80 lakh), Purnea (1.39 lakh), Banka (90,432) and Siwan (87,000).

Major Tribes of Bihar (Bihar GK in English)

Important tribes of Bihar :


➤ Oraon tribal group is mainly found in the districts of Rohtas, Buxar, Darbhanga, Kaimur, (Bhabua), West Champaran and Bhagalpur. Most of the tribal people of Oraon have been migrated from the Chota Nagpur region of Jharkhand.

➤ Oraon people mainly speak ‘Kurukh’ language related to Dravidian family. They mainly belong to the Proto-Australoid and Dravidian racial families/groups.


➤ Traditionally, Oraons depended on the forest and forms for their ritual and economic livelihood, but in recent times, a few of them have become mainly settled agriculturalists.

➤ These people are attached with the nature. These people make household items from forest produce like mats, wooden stools, baskets, cups, plates, cushions, rope, mortar, pestle and oil presses.

➤ They also make hunting tools from forests produce like bows and arrows, slings, swords, spears , fishing traps. Their fishing nets are made from twine, umbrellas from landle and ribs of bamboo which are covered by gungu leaves and their hooded water proof coats are also made from the gungu leaves.

Customs and Tradition

➤ Family is considered the smallest unit in the society of Oraon tribes.

➤ Marriage is a very important form of their custom and tradition, which is closely linked with the environment.

➤ Before marriage a custom is followed in which men go the forest and fetch fire wood and women bring sal leaves for preparing cup-plates, marriage mat and marriage baskets of various sizes.

➤ During marriage, setting up a ‘marwa’ is most important. For this nine sal saplings with leaves on top are planted in three rows in the courtyard. They also planted branches of bamboo, bhelwa, mango, mahua and siddh trees.

➤ These branches of tress have different symbols like Bamboo branch symbolises progeny, bhelwa branch symbolises protection from the evil eye, mango symbolises perpetuity of descendants, mahua symbolises love between the couple and siddh symbolises fidelity of husband and wife.

➤ Dead body during funeral is buried or cremeted. When crops stand in the field dead bodies are buried. When a dead body is buried, its grave is covered by different shapes of branches lengthwise and crosswise.

Social and Religious Life

➤ The social life of Oraon tribal group represents a mixed structure of different religious groups and entities such as Naturalism, Hinduism, Christianity and so on.

➤ This community is attached to the Sama religion. Since the ancient times, these people do not worship the nature. Their religious system is mainly influenced by Manda and Kharia religious systems.

➤ They consider the Sun as ‘Biri Belas’ means a symbol of God’s glorious power and brightness and not a God, but they have given place to same environmental features in their religion like sacred grove, a mountain, a hill, a river, a well, a tank, light fire, direction and a stone and so on which are considered the residence of spirits and focal of ritual worship.

Festivals and Dance

➤ Oraon people are very fond of music and dance. Karma, Jadur, Dassai and Kagha Parva are very famous dance forms in this tribal group.

➤ People also meet at socio-religious gatherings and festivals such as Jatras, Sarhul, Phaggu, Karam and so on.

➤ Sarhul is a spring festival which is enjoyed by people of Oraon when sal trees are in full blossom. During this occasion, the tribal people perform the symbolic marriage of the sky with the Earth in order to ensure the fertility of the mother Earth.

➤ People also offer a sacrifice to the old lady (the village goddess) who is believed to reside is the grove of the village.

➤ Phagga festival is celebrated in the end of February or the beginning of March.

➤ Karam is an agriculture festival which is connected with the socio-religious domain of Oraons. Thus, it is associated with productivity or fecundity.

➤ Mandar, Nagara and Kartal are the main musical instruments. During festival or any occasion of celebration, they consume an alcoholic drink called Handiya, a rice wine made from fermented rice.


➤ Santhal is the major tribe of Jharkhand which is also found in Purnea, Bhagalpur, Saharsa, Munger and other districts of Bihar. Santhal people mainly belong to the Proto-Australoid and Dravidian.

➤ The Santhals mostly speak Santhali, a member of the Munda language family. In about 1925, Raghunath Murmu created Ol Chiki script for the Santhali language.

These tribal people also speak Hindi, Oria and Bangla language in their daily life.


➤ Santhal people are mainly engaged in hunting, fishing, collection of forest produce and cultivation for their livelihood.

Religious Life

➤ Santhal people offer prayer in two places namely, ‘Jaher’ and ‘Gosade’. They follow the belief of ‘Sarana’. Sarana is the indigenous religion of tribal people. It represents the worship of nature.

➤ Santhal people consider the Sun as omnipotent, creator and father of all and ‘Earth’ as their mother who brings everything they worship the Sun God as ‘Singhbonga’ or ‘Singabonga’.

➤ They believe in ancestral God. Besides they also believe in many Gods and Goddesses like Marang-buru, Jaher-era, and so on. These people give respect to the ghosts and spirits such as Kalsing, Lakchera, Bendarang and so on.

➤ Animal sacrifice to appease Gods is a common practice village priests are known as ‘Naiki’ and ‘Ujha’.

Social Life

➤ When a baby is born ‘Santhal Midwife cuts the umbilical cord of the child and buries it near the house door. When the first son is born he is named after his grandfather and the second son is given the name from maternal side.

➤ In the Santhal community, family is considered the smallest unit of social organisation. Nuclear family system is followed. When son is married he has to settle in the other house.

➤ Death of old age people is considered good sign which bring occasion of transformation of body and soul of a person. The dead body can be cremated and buried. When a respected person or official died, all Santhal people participate in the death ceremony.

➤ In the evening time a rooster is killed and porridge is prepared to offer the soul of the dead person. Santhal people purify themselves after seven days by taking bath into a river. After seven days ‘Bhandari’ which is the last ritual is under taken on the same day of the week the dead was buried.

Culture and Festivals

➤ One of the most important and distinctive symbol that characterises this community is the bow and arrow. The Santhals use it extensively. Apart from using it for hunting, they use it during various rituals, festivals and celebrations. They are culturally, emotionally and mentally attached to them (bows and arrows). Sohrai is the biggest festival among Santhals. ➤ Santhal tribal people celebrate many festivals apart from Sohrai, such as Karam which falls in the month of Ashwin (September-October). The belief behind celebrating this festival is to increase wealth and also to get rid of the evil spirits.

➤ After purifying themselves, two youths fetch two branches of Karam tree from the forest and plant these outside their house.

➤ Besides these Maghe, Sakrat, Baba Bonga, Ero, Asaria and Namah are other important festivals of Santhal community. They also celebrate haunting festival called ‘Disum Sendra’ on the eve of Baisakh Purnima.

➤ There is a unique way of showing reverences among the community. The elders are always respected by the younger ones in the community. Members of the community want to maintain peace among them. These salutations increase their bond of togetherness and brotherhood.

➤ These people use ‘tobacco and hookah’. These also drink a special kind of wine, namely, ‘Mahuli’ which is prepared by Handiya (rice beer) and mahua plants.

Marriage Customs and Tradition

➤ There are different types of marriages in this tribal group. Their marriages are exogamous and these are known as ‘Bapla’ which are of 7 types such as ‘Sanga Bapla’, ‘Kadam Bapla,’ ‘Kirin Bapla’, ‘Upagir Bapla’, ‘Tanki Dipil Bapla’, ‘Itut Bapla’, ‘Nirbelok Bapla’.

➤ Monogamy is a common trait and Bigamy is also allowed in this tribe. These people also follow polygamy practice.

Judicial System

➤ Santhal people has a traditional judicial system which manages the problem arising in the community.

➤ ‘Manjhi-Paragana’ is their system of governance which is comparable to the Local Self Governance.

➤ ‘Manjhi Hadam’ is the head of this community. He is responsible for the executive, judicial and other functions within society. Paranik, Jagmanjhi, Jagparanik, Naike, Gudit, etc are other office bearers who assist the Manjhi Hadam (headman of village).

➤ In the Santhal tribe, ‘Dilheri’ is the highest judicial officer below him in rank, is ‘Disham Manjhi’ and below him is Manjhi Hadam.

➤ Jagmanjhi attends the birth of a child and Gudit and other officers present at the death of a person.

➤ Other notable people in this tribal community are Murmm (the priests), Mardi (the businessman) Kisku (rulers), Hemram (judges), Soren (soldiers) and Tudu (musicians).

➤ Santhal people have different organisation like Labirbaisi (the highest council), Pramatrabaist (pargana council) and Manjhibaisi (village council).


➤ This tribe is mainly found in the Terai region of the district of West Champaran.

This is the largest and oldest ethnic group of the Terai region.

➤ Tharu people belong to Mangoloid racial group. Tharu people speak different languages like variants of Urdu and Awadhi, Bhojpuri and Maithili.


➤ These people are engaged in agriculture and animal husbandry for their livelihood.

➤ Wheat, Maize, Barley, Rice, etc are important crops while ducks, goats, chickens, pigs, etc are important for their livelihood. Fishing is also a part of their livelihood.

Customs and Tradition

➤ There is a different form of marriage in this tribe. When two women give birth to opposite sex babies, then their babies got married when they grow up.

➤ Due to big differences in ages of husbands elopement has become a common trait of his society.

➤ Guruba and Shamans are doctors in this society who cure illness by using Buddhist medicines. They also try to satisfy deities by incantations, offering sacrifice and beating drums. There is a common belief among Tharu people that sickness arrives when gods are displeased and demons do some mischievous work.

Social and Religious Life

➤ Colourful paintings are done by Tharu women on the walls and verandahs of their houses. These paintings are dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi.

➤ Tharu people follow hinduism and also have Islamic, animist and Buddhist beliefs.

Each village of Tharu tribal group has their own duty, known as ‘Bhuinyar’.


➤ Chero tribe is also known as ‘Cheru’ and ‘Cheruwas’. Although, it is a major tribal group of Jharkhand, but some Chero people also reside in the districts of Rohtas, Bhojpur and Gaya.

➤ People of this tribe call themselves Kshatriya and Rajputs of Chauhan Clan. They also call themselves ‘Chandravanshi’.

➤ They mainly practice agriculture. Besides this, animal husbandry is also a part of their livelihood. Some of them are also labourers.

➤ The religious beliefs of this tribal group area as similar as of the Hinduism.

➤ These people also worship several tribal deities like ‘Sairi Maa’, ‘Ganwar Bhabhani’ and ‘Dulha Deo’.

➤ This tribe is divided into two sub-groups Barahazari and Terahazari. Marriage between these two groups are strictly prohibited, thus, take place within a group.


➤ Gond tribal group resides in the districts of West Champaran, Saran, Siwan and Rohtas in Bihar. They generally speakMundari language alongwith local language.


➤ These are mainly farmers. Some of them are landowners and some are landless labourers.

Customs and Tradition

➤ There is a cross-cousin marriage system (e.g. marrying one’s mother’s brother’s daughter). There is a system in which a widow is allowed to remarry to the father of the deceased husband.

➤ There is also a system of bride price. After wedding, the new couple lives with the Groom’s family until they move to their new house.

Social and Religious Life

➤ Art is an important part of their life which includes pottery, basket making, body tattooing and floor painting. They also paint the walls of their house with red and black paints.

➤ ‘Persa Pen’ is the Most distinctive feature of Gond religion. Their supreme God is known as Baradeo, Bhagavan. Each Gond clan has its own Persa Pen who is believed to protect all clan members. People believe that Persa Pen is usually good but can be dangerous and if a pardhan plays his fiddle, the fierce powers of Persa Pen can be controlled.

➤ Each village has its village guardian and village mother who are worshipped during festivities. They also worship family and household Gods, Gods of Cattle and Gods of Field.

➤ They also perform animal sacrifice. Every nine or twelve years, these tribal people sacrifice a pig to the God Mauryan Deo in the ceremony known as ‘Laru Kaj’ (Pig’s Wedding).

➤ They also believe in evil spirits and the God’s displeasure causes most diseases and misfortunes.


➤ Kora tribe is found in Jharkhand and Bihar. The people of Kora tribe reside in the districts of Munger, Jamui and Katihar in Bihar.

➤ The people of this tribe speak Mundari, Sadani and Hindi languages. Their settlements are located on the hilltops and in the plain regions.

➤ Their economic life is associated with agriculture, forest produce and labour.

➤ These people practice religious customs and practices of Hinduism. They also believe in idea of spirit of the dead, animistic belief and worshipping traditional deities of hills, Earth, etc.

➤ These people celebrate various festivals like Sarhul Parab and Bonga Buru in the month of Chaitra and Karan in the month of Bhadra.


➤ It is one of the Scheduled Tribes of India which has very few population. Korwa tribal people reside in the districts of Rohtas, Bhojpur, Purnea, Munger and Katihar in Bihar.

➤ Korwa people mainly belong to Proto-Austroloid racial group. They have nuclear family system where marriages take place within a caste.

➤ A type of alcohol made from rice known as ‘Illi’ or Handiyaa’ is used as a traditional drink by this tribal community. The important musical instrument of this tribe are ‘Paijan’, ‘Yandar ’ ‘Darkhar’ and so on.

➤ The economic life of this tribe is based on hunting, shifting cultivation and forest produce. It is a socially backward tribal group where lack of health care services and education system are found. The government is trying to link this group with the mainstream of development.

➤ About one third of them are Muslims and rest follow Hinduism. Their main tribal deity is ‘Dulha Deo’. They also worship ‘Khuri Rani’, a Goddess who requires animal sacrifices. Worship of ancestors is also a common practice.


➤ Kharwar tribe resides in the districts of Rohtas and Kaimur in Bihar.

➤ According to their tradition, their ancestors used to worship of ‘Khair’ (a type of grass), thus, people, who worshiped this ‘Khair’ came to be known as ‘Kharwars’.

➤ These people have a belief that their ancestors once ruled the Rohtas district.

Important rulers among the Kharwar rulers were Uday Dhawal, Vikram Dhawal Dev Vijay, Sahas Dhawal, Uday Chand and so on.

➤ These people practice agriculture, some of them are engaged in livestock rearing, fishing, collecting forest produce, hunting and trapping.

➤ They practice many art forms like basketry, tattoo making, wall art and so on.

➤ These people have a mixture of both the Hindu and tribal cult. They worship the deities such as Goddess Lakshmi, Durga, Bhagwati, Hanumana and Dihwar Bonga.

➤ They celebrate many important festivals like Sarhul, Diwali, Durga Puja, Mawakhani, Jitia, Ram Navami, Sohrai, Phagh and so on.

➤ In this tribe, consanguineous form of marriage is allowed and bride price is also prevalent among them.

Sauria Paharia

➤ Sauria Paharia tribal people live in the mountainous and forests areas of many districts of Bihar. It is part of Paharia tribes.

➤ These people speak ‘Malto’ languages which is of Dravidian language group.

➤ Shifting cultivation’ is their important economic activity. Their settlements are located on the hilltops and inside the forest area. They also practice fishing during summer season.

➤ These people follow animism and Hinduism. Witch craft and evil spirit is their common belief. To appease spirits, they sacrifice fowls and animals.

➤ Ghaghra Puja and Bandana are important festivals of these people.


➤ Ho tribal people are found in Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal. These people belong to Austro-Ascatic ethnic group. They mainly speak Ho and Munda languages.

➤ Their economy is based on hunting and primitive shifting cultivation, mining works and so on.

➤ In this tribal community, people marry outside the paternal clan but marrying one’s cousin on the maternal side is also a common practice of marriage. Bride price and dowry system are common practices of marriage in this tribe.

➤ These people worship spirits and also practice witch craft.

➤ These people celebrate both traditional as well as adopted festivals. Their important traditional festivals areMaghe, Baha Parab, Rajasala or Raja Parab, Hero Parab, Jamnawa Parab, and Kakwontanri and Kalam Parab, Shorai and so on.

➤ The adopted festivals are Durga puja, Biswakarma puja, Ganesh puja, Rath yatra and so on. Sometimes, they give less importance to their traditional festivals.

Chik Baraik

➤ This tribe is mainly found in the rural areas of Bihar and Jharkhand.

➤ Chik Baraik people mainly belong to the Proto-Australoid racial group.

➤ These people speak Mundari, Sadhni and Hindi languages.

➤ This is an artisan tribe which engaged in weaving and bird trapping for their livelihood.

➤ This tribe mainly follows hinduism. Their supreme deity is Singbonga. They also worship ‘Devi Mai’. These people also believe in other deities like Gram Deo, Dhiwar Deo, Pitar Deo, Mag Deo, Bagh Deo, Burheia Deo.

➤ Important festivals of this tribal group are Sarhul, Sohrai, Karma, Nawakhami, Durga Devi Puja, Phagu, Ramnavami and so on.


➤ It is the most advanced tribe among all tribal groups which is evident from their homes which are built using tiles, wood, bamboo and spaciously and nicely designed.

➤ These people live mostly near forest and hilly areas. These people mainly practice farming for their livelihood.

➤ These people follow Hinduism and their supreme deity is Bindya Basini which is represented by a stone in the shape of woman. They also worship their ancestors.

➤ These people celebrate many festivals like Sohrai, Karma, Sarhul, Kartik Purnima, Jittia, Dussehra, Diwali and so on.

➤ As this is the most advanced tribe, the age of marriage is between 18 to 25 years of both bride and groom as per the Indian law. They do not permit inter-tribal marriage thus, marriage with same clan is permissible. Monogamy is prevalent and widow remarriage is also permissible. Bride price is also observed in this tribal community.

Tribal Art and Culture (Bihar GK in English)

The tribal art and culture is very distinct in nature. It includes tribal songs, art and literature. This tribal art and culture is discussed below:

Tribal Art

➤ Evidences of tribal art can be seen through the wall paintings of beautiful flowers and plants in the houses of the tribal people of Bihar.

➤ These people paint beautiful pictures on pottery. Women are usually versatile in paintings. Most of the home decor work is done by unmarried girls.

➤ Tribal women make necklaces from cowries and sepias which are very beautiful.

Tribal Songs

➤ Most of the tribal songs of Bihar are dance-oriented. Natural scenes are described in these tribal songs. Tribal people of Bihar sing various tribal songs associated with each season.

➤ Important tribal songs are Jadur, Karma, Maghe, Adandi and so on.

➤ Tribal people of Bihar sing ‘Adandi’ songs at the time of marriage, ‘Jadur’ songs during spring season and ‘Hero’ songs during paddy plantation.

➤ Musical instruments used by these tribes are mridang, dafli, damru and so on.

Tribal Literature

➤ The tribal literature is rich in folklores and proverbs which describes the different directions of human life.

➤ This literature contains reverence of God, reverence for different main characters of sacred stories and description of various mysteries.

➤ The riddles used in this literature are a subject matter of research.

Government Initiatives for the Development of Scheduled Tribes (Bihar GK in English)

Section 275 (1) of the Indian Constitution As per this Article of Indian Constitution, the Central Government is provided funds for infrastructure development of the tribal area.

Special Central Assistance for Scheduled Tribes Under this scheme, the Central Government provides funds for the development of people belonging to Scheduled Tribes under Below Poverty Line (BPL).

Vanbandhu Kalyan Yojana This scheme was launched by Government of India for welfare of tribals. It aims at creating enabling environmental for need based and outcome oriented holistic development of the tribal people.

Scheduled Tribe Sub-Plan The aim of scheduled tribe sub-plan is to make the families of Scheduled Tribes skilled and efficient in every sphere of life, so that their income can increase and they can rise above the poverty line.

Tharu Scheduled Tribal Development In the year 2003, Tharu castes were included in the Scheduled Tribes in Bihar. For this, a high level committee has been constituted for the development of this Tharu tribe under the Chairmanship of Chief Secretary.

The government has sanctioned 5 boys and 5 girls residential high schools for Scheduled Tribes ofWest Champaran district.

Residential Schools There are 15 Residential schools for scheduled tribes which are being run by the State Government. The State Government has also declared to convert Residential Schools into Model Schools.

ChiefMinisterMerit Scholarship Scheme This scheme was started in the year 2008-09.

Under this scheme, a scholarship of ` 10,000/- is given to SC/ST students, who got first division in the matric examination of ‘Bihar School Examination Board’.

Besides, SC/ST students who pass with second division also get a scholarship of ` 8000/- and students who pass higher secondary education examination, with first division get ` 15000/-

Bhimrao AmbedkarWelfare Hostel Scheme Under this scheme, a provision has been made for the construction of 4 hostels with 100 bedded facility for ST students in the year 2017-18.

Construction of NewResidential Schools In the year 2016-17, the State Government has given approval for construction of 11 new Residential Schools for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.The State Government has also approved 5 new tribal schools.

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