Bharia Tribal Community

by Universaltribes Admin on Apr 01, 2023

A tribe called the Bharias can be found in the Indian state of Maharashtra. The districts of Dhule, Nashik, and Nandurbar are home to the majority of this state's largest tribal populations.

The Bharias are well renowned for their distinctive attire, jewellery, and architecture, as well as for their long-standing customs and traditions. The Bharias mostly rely on agriculture for their livelihood, while many also partake in activities related to forests, like gathering non-timber forest products.

The Bharias have had many difficulties recently, including poverty, limited access to healthcare and education, and the loss of their customary lands and resources, despite their lengthy history and rich cultural legacy. The government and numerous groups are working to resolve these problems and give the Bharias more authority, but much more has to be done to secure their long-term growth and the preservation of their distinctive culture.

Location - The Indian state of Maharashtra is where the Bharias are predominantly located. In the northern region of the state, in the districts of Dhule, Nashik, and Nandurbar, they are mainly concentrated. These districts are a component of Maharashtra's Khandesh and Marathwada regions. The Bharias also have a negligible presence in Gujarat, a nearby state.

Language - Bhilodi, a member of the Bhil subgroup of the Bhil-Gond branch of the Indo-Aryan language family, is the primary tongue of the Bharia people. The tribal inhabitants of central and western India speak Bhilodi, a language that is closely related to other Bhil dialects.

Many Bharias are proficient in Bhilodi as well as Hindi, the national language of India, and Marathi, the state of Maharashtra's official language. Some Bharias, particularly those with formal education, may also speak English.

Culture - The Bharias have a thriving culture that is full with history and shows their close ties to the environment and to one another. Bharias culture's fundamental components include:

Clothing: The Bharias are known for their unusual clothing, which embodies their tribal origin. Men often wear dhotis and blouses, while women typically don elaborately embroidered brightly coloured saris. A significant component of Bharias clothing is jewellery, which is composed of silver and other precious metals and is used to signify social rank and commemorate significant life events.

Festivals & Rituals: Throughout the year, the Bharias observe a number of customary festivals and ceremonies, such as Holi, Diwali, and the Bhagoria festival. These festivals provide an occasion for community members to get together and celebrate their shared heritage in addition to serving as significant social and cultural events.

The Bharias have a long history of music and dance, and they frequently use traditional instruments like the dhol, manjira, and shehnai to accompany their singing and dancing. A number of traditional dances are also performed at the Bhagoria festival by the Bharias, such as the Bhagoria dance.

Architecture: The Bharias' unusual architectural design reflects their deep ties to the natural world. Traditional Bharias dwellings are built of mud and bamboo, and they frequently have verandahs and thatched roofs.

These are just a few instances of the Bharias' diverse cultural history. Even though there have been many difficulties lately, there are still efforts being made to preserve and promote Bharias culture. These efforts include local organisations' work, cultural festivals, and educational initiatives.

Style & attire -The Bharias are known for their unusual clothing, which embodies their tribal origin. Women often dress in elaborately embroidered saris in vivid hues, frequently in red, green, and yellow. The saris are often worn with a shirt and a scarf, wrapped around the waist and slung over the shoulder. Women also don various pieces of jewellery, such as bracelets, earrings, and necklaces made of silver and other precious metals.

Shirts and dhotis, which are long strips of cloth wrapped around the waist and legs, are the customary attire for men. They might also have a pagri, a type of turban, on their heads. In addition to wearing jewellery like necklaces, bracelets, and earrings, men may also carry a staff or a knife as a status symbol.

Most Bharias, especially older members of the community, wear bare feet most of the time, and many of them have intricate tattoos on their arms, legs, and other portions of their bodies that represent both their cultural background and individual identities.

The Bharias' fashion sense and garb play a significant role in their cultural history and are intimately related to their social mores, religious practises, and traditional ways of life. Despite modernity's effect and the growing influence of Western fashion, many Bharias still dress traditionally every day and on special occasions, protecting their distinctive cultural identity.

Food - The resources and atmosphere of the Bharias' ancient homeland in Maharashtra, India, are reflected in their rich and varied cuisine. The following foods are among the Bharias' staples:

Rice: For the Bharias, rice is a staple dish that they eat in a variety of ways, including boiled, steamed, and fried.

The Bharias rely heavily on lentils as a source of protein, and they frequently use them to prepare soups, stews, and curries, among other dishes. Examples of lentils include chana dal and moong dal.

Vegetables: The Bharias cultivate a wide range of vegetables, including tomatoes, onions, potatoes, and okra, which are utilised in a number of cuisines.

Spices: To give their food taste and aroma, the Bharias utilise a variety of spices in their cooking, such as turmeric, cumin, coriander, and chilli pepper.

Even though vegetarianism is popular within the community, the Bharias also eat non-vegetarian foods including chicken, fish, and mutton.

The Bharias also celebrate a number of traditional festivals and ceremonies throughout the year, during which special foods are prepared and shared with the community. These celebrations take place in addition to these everyday foods. These celebrations provide the Bharias a chance to unite and honour their common heritage and cultural practises.

The Bharias continue to follow their ancient dietary customs and relish their distinctive and savoury cuisine despite the influence of modernization and the rising popularity of Western dishes.

Handicrafts - The Bharias' cultural heritage includes handicrafts, which give the people a way to express their creativity and keep their traditions alive. Bharias handicrafts include, for instance:

The Bharias are excellent basket weavers who produce a range of baskets and other woven goods from bamboo and other natural fibres, including mats and headgear.

Pottery: The Bharias use methods that have been handed down through the generations to create a range of traditional pottery products, such as bowls, jars, and storage containers.

The Bharias are renowned for their beautiful stitching, which is used to adorn textiles, furniture, and clothes.

Jewellery: Using precious metals and other materials, the Bharias create a variety of jewellery, including necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and other pieces.

These are only a few illustrations of the extensive history of Bharias handicrafts. Many Bharias continue to make traditional handicrafts and pass on their skills to younger generations, protecting their cultural heritage and identity despite the growing influence of modernity and the accessibility of mass-produced commodities.

Bharias handicrafts have gained popularity in recent years both domestically and abroad, and initiatives are being made to support and promote the community's traditional arts and crafts. These initiatives support the livelihoods of Bharias craftsmen and advance their cultural traditions and history.

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