BAIGA TRIBES (Syllabus: GS Paper 1– Geography)

News-CRUX-10     12th October 2023        

Context: The Baiga Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group (PVTG) became the second to get habitat rights in Chhattisgarh, after the Kamar PVTG.

Baiga Tribes

  • Geographic Distribution: The Baiga Tribe, classified as one of the Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs), resides in regions spanning Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Odisha, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh.
  • A total of 19 Baiga villages with a population of 6,483 people (2,085 families) have been given the habitat rights.
  • Traditional Occupation: Historically, the Baiga people led a semi-nomadic lifestyle and engaged in slash-and-burn agriculture. Today, their livelihood predominantly relies on minor forest produce.
  • Cultivation Method: They practice a form of shifting cultivation known as "Bewar," adapting to their ecological surroundings.
  • Cultural Significance of Mahua: Mahua, derived from the fermentation and distillation of Mahua tree flowers, holds significant cultural importance in Baiga society as a source of food and an intoxicant.
  • Tattooing Tradition: Tattooing is an integral aspect of Baiga culture, with specific tattoos reserved for different ages and occasions, shaping their unique cultural identity.

PVTG (Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups)

  • PVTGs represent the most susceptible segment among India's tribal communities, necessitating enhanced support and development efforts.
  • Among the 705 Scheduled Tribes in India, 75 have garnered the PVTG classification, and their populations are dispersed across 17 states and one Union Territory.