Explore the Ethnography of Odisha
The very name of Odisha has been derived from the word “Ordes”, a predominant tribe of the place. Housing the largest variety of tribal population, with 62 recognised tribal communities. Koraput is blessed with a bulk of the rich heritage and ethnic diversity in Odisha. One such tribe of Odisha is the Gadaba tribe, inhabiting Koraput, with the highest population density. Occupying a plateau of 3000ft, they live mostly in the southernmost part. Numerous theories of their origin surface after thorough research. Few theses trace their roots to Ramayana, few others to Godavari valley and Vindhya hills. The word “Gadaba” refers to a person who carries loads on his shoulders, thus speaking for the professions like agriculturist, coolie, or palanquin bearer, that they are invested in.
The tribe is divided into two types, the “Bada Gadabas” and the “Sana Gadabas”. The Bada Gadabas use “Gutab” , which is the dialect specific to their tribe belonging to the Munda language family. Whereas Sana Gadabas use the Olaro tongue of the Dravidian language family. The Gadabas have a characteristic dressing style, ornament collection and designs of hair. They tie their hair with linseed oil and adorn it with flowers. The men wear “Lenguti”, a small piece of cloth around the bottom with a flap hanging in front. The women wear “Kerang”, a long cloth wrapped around the waist, along with a wrap-around blouse. Their ornaments are made of brass and aluminium.
Their appetite for Gadabas rounds to thrice a day, though they do not take breakfast. “Pej”, gruel made up of ragi flour, locally called “Mandia”, is their staple food. Their dinner plate is often occupied by some or the other chutney. During festivals they prefer non-veg like fish, chicken and mutton. In their culture drinking liquor is believed to be sacred, so they consume alcohol on a regular basis.
Amidst the struggles of life and lingering poverty, the Gadabas make efforts to keep their culture alive through dance and music. Dhemsa dance is performed by women of the tribe, while the men play musical instruments like huge drums, Tal Mudibaja, Madal, flute, Tamak and Mahuri. Their performances generally depict their emotions and passion. Gutor Parab, Bandapana Parab, Dasahara Parab, Pusha Parab, and Chaita Parab are few major festivals that they celebrate with great pomp and show. The whole community starts the preparations of every occasion before 15 days, to fit everyone’s schedule and make the necessary arrangements. They believe in a peculiar superstition of “Palata Bagha”. According to them, this phenomenon can occur due to the wizardry of evil people, who have the ability to take the form of a tiger and prey on human beings. To get rid of this phenomenon they perform rituals and animal sacrifices. They also believe in divinity, and call their chief deity, “Thakurani”, whose idol is structured with slabs of stone as it resides in the Hundi.
One customary rule of Gadabas which the society can learn from is their egalitarian family structure, where the women have equal social status as that of men and also participate in every decision-making process. They worship a deity called “Sadar”, dedicated to mother earth, which is made up of stone and is enshrined under banyan trees. They prefer living in the moment and sharing with one another. With the advancement in technology and the interference to bring them to mainstream, changes in their dressing pattern, lingua franca, lifestyle, food preferences etc. are evident. Hardly women can be found wearing Kerang Sarees these days. “Gotar”, a major Gadaba festival has come to a halt for various speculated reasons. Though modernization is paving the path towards development, the goals should be kept sustainable, so that the cultural diversity of the tribes is not compromised in the process. Modern facilities, advanced lifestyle and traditional ethics should go hand in hand to conserve our rich heritage.
Gadaba Tribe of Koraput
With determination running through his veins where he sits in his workshop in Lingipur, Smitesh Mohapatra is chasing a forgotten dream. He has taken it upon himself to complete a mission that his grandfather, eminent sculptor and Rajya Sabha MP Raghunath Mohapatra, had embarked upon before Covid snuffed his life out in May this year —to build a replica of the Sun Temple in Konark. He named it the Aditya Narayan (another name of the sun) Temple.
He is accompanied by 68-year-old Antaryami Mangaraj who is carving out a giant wheel at a brisk pace. His mission is to make up for the lost time during the lockdown and complete his guruji’s mission.
Mohapatra, who passed away at the age of 78, had conceived the idea in 2013, after witnessing the sorry state of the 13th-century temple over the centuries. Since then, till he succumbed to the virus, he acquired 100-acre land near Puri, laid the foundation stone and set up the Raghunath Mohapatra Arts and Crafts Foundation that oversees sculpting work and the Aditya Narayan Trust to carry out construction and other necessary work.
The replica will be built 30 km from the original Sun Temple in Konark, between Sakhigopal and Puri, a site chosen by Mohapatra, a Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan awardee whose creations include the six-feet-tall graystone statue of the sun god at Central Hall of Parliament and Rajiv Lochan, lotus sculpted on black granite at Rajiv Gandhi Samadhi, Vir Bhumi, in Delhi.
“The Konark Sun Temple is an architectural marvel but unfortunately, more than 70% of it has been damaged. My grandfather visualised the majestic structure and attempted to recreate it. I will try to complete it,” said Smitesh, a 23-year-old management graduate and a sculptor.
While work on the project slowed down considerably after the pandemic broke, sculptors have already created two wheels and a sidewall. The replica is being built with sandstone and black granite, stones used in the original Sun Temple.
Even if the pandemic has dimmed out the dream a bit, the dream is still strong waiting to see the light of the day.
Courtesy: The Times of India
Settlement Of Executive Land Under Educational Institutions: Odisha Govt Issued Deadline Date To Submit Documents
The Odisha authorities on Wednesday began the procedure for the agreement of government lands underneath the ownership of possession/ aided schools and schools.
A meeting on this connection became held on August 9, 2021, chaired by way of the leader secretary of Odisha, and the minutes of the equal were notified on Wednesday by the Odisha Higher Education department.
The Higher Education department and the school and mass training department had been advised to furnish to the sales and disaster control (R&DM) branch within 15 days, the approximate volume of government land, below ownership of government in addition to aided colleges and colleges, which requires being settled/ recorded of their call along with the approximate market cost of such land.
The Revenue and Disaster Management Department has been advised to work expeditiously to bring the matter before the State Cabinet for a policy decision on settlement of the government land in favour of the government and aided schools and colleges.
It is pertinent to mention here that a meeting was held on the same issue back on February 11, 2020 under the Chairmanship of the Chief Secretary of Odisha. However, it was resolved today that the decisions taken on the last meeting (February 11, 2020) will be upheld.
All land, irrespective of the extent of area, under the occupation of standalone Government Degree Colleges (including autonomous and non-autonomous Government Colleges) and standalone Government Higher Secondary Schools (Erstwhile + 2/ Jr. Colleges) will be recorded in the name of Higher Education Department and School & Mass Education Department respectively.
However, in the case of composite colleges (Where a Degree College co-exists with a Higher Secondary School), the land, irrespective of the extent of area, shall be recorded separately; i.e. in the name of Higher Education Department for the area under the occupation of the Degree College wing and in the name of School & Mass Education Department for the area under the occupation of the Higher Secondary School wing.
Where such splitting of land is not possible due to practical problems and inconveniences, the entire land will be recorded in the name of the Higher Education Department.
Source: Odisha TV
An archaeological excavation at a coastal village in Balasore district has unearthed an urban civilization of over 2000-year-old that used developed agriculture tools.
At the beginning of the 1st phase of deep excavation carried out by the Archaeological team at Durgadevi village in the district, traces of pre-historic age-like agriculture tools of around 4,000 years old and urban life of 2,400 years old were found.
The discovery included several materials of the Chalcolithic period, the Iron Age and the pre-historic era. The pottery specimen of different colours, iron pots, terracotta ear studs, bangles, beads, terracotta wheels, floor and walls of houses were also found on the site.
A map has also been unearthed that indicated that houses date back to the Chalcolithic period.
“There was a human civilisation which had collapsed around 2000 years ago. But, we have found some solid pieces of evidence of a human society that existed there. The discovery has heralded a new chapter in the history of Odisha as well as India,” said Sunil Patnaik, archaeologist.
The site is believed to be a fortress of a king and the materials discovered from the place during excavation are believed to be a part of the pre-historic age.
According to locals, Devi Durga in the name of Gada Chandi was founded in 1839 in the exact locality.
“A statue of lion was installed on a big piece of stone on which the year ‘1839’ was engraved. The stone carving has gradually decayed. So, it is believed that it was built by an erstwhile ruler and later installed by the locals in front of the temple,” said Bigneswar Dwibedi, a priest at the Durga temple.
Further research is underway and traces of the early-historic period are being conserved for the same.
“I would take it to the Central government and try to make the place into of a tourist and historical importance. Let more traces be discovered,” Union Minister and Local MP Pratap Sarangi has said.
Bikram Panda, who held a family of three hostage at Shantipada here a day after his detention, told the media on Wednesday that he is not ashamed of the incident and does not regret his actions.
“There is no shame, no repentance,” he said.
When asked why he threatened the family, Bikram explained that he and the girl, a family member’s relative, were madly in love.
“After finishing my BTech in Computer Science, I launched a cyber-café near the town’s Women’s College. We fell in love because she used to come to the café. We stayed in touch and met on a regular basis even after she graduated. “However, after joining Bhima Bhoi Medical College and Hospital as a clerk, she abruptly stopped meeting with me,” he explained.
Bikram then wanted to meet her father and brother, but they turned him down, claiming it was a passing affair.
He plotted the hostage takeover, which was prevented by the police, because he was upset about not being allowed to meet the girl.
“I had no intention of harming anyone,” said Bikram. But how can a lady abandon her partner simply because he is a businessman rather than a government worker?” He was perplexed.
Bikram refuted the claim that it was a one-sided affair by claiming that he could prove that they were in a relationship. “The proof is on my phone,” he explained.
Bikram barged into the residence of Dibya Lochan Hota in Shantipada at around 8.30 a.m. on Wednesday, according to Balangir SDPO Tofan Bagh, who gave details of the event earlier in the day. Later, he kidnapped three members of his family and demanded the girl. He also threatened to kill them and commit suicide if they didn’t stop him.
The family members were also able to flee and lock themselves in a room, according to the SDPO. He stated that they were rescued through a window on the backside of their house.
“Police attempted to persuade the teen to open the door after he locked himself in a room. He fired a blank shot at 12 p.m. The district SP then entered the house and spoke with him via a hole in the door. After that, he fired another blank shot. The SP, his personal security officer (PSO), and the cops burst through the door while he was loading the bullet into his handgun. He launched another round of fire as they sought to overwhelm him,” he added.
According to the SDPO, the accused revealed during interrogation that he bought the weapon from a person in the Boudh district two years ago and did not have a legal permit.
“Police have filed two complaints against him. He’ll be brought before the court this afternoon,” he said.
Written By: Swati Sahoo