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TRIBALS OF ORISSA

TRIBALS OF ORISSA

More than 60 different tribes, descended from the original, pre-Aryan inhabitants of the land, live in Orissa. Many still inhabit hills and forests in the remote interior of the state, relatively untouched by outside influences. The Samaras , who live in the vicinity of Taptapani  are agriculturists whose mud houses are beautifully painted and decorated with carved doors and lintels. Further west live the Koyas, whose customs decree that their women must only many considerably younger men. The dominant tribe in Orissa are the Kordhs, who used to perform human sacrifice to ensure the fertility of their land, until the British stamped out this practice in the mid-19th century. Today the Kondhs are renowned for their knowledge of medicinal herbs, and their beautiful metal jewellery. The Orissa government is now promoting tours of some tribal areas. Interested visitors should contact Orissa Tourism in Bhubaneswar, (0674) 43 2203, for information about the necessary permits, as well as accommodation in areas that have few facilities for travellers. For more details.

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