PAHARIYA TRIBE (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – Vulnerable Section)

News-CRUX-10     16th April 2024        
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Context: The Pahariya tribe in Jharkhand strives for seed self-sufficiency by storing indigenous varieties in community-managed seed banks.


Pahariya Tribe

  • About: The Pahariya Tribe primarily resides in Jharkhand and West Bengal, with smaller communities in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Odisha.
  • Agricultural Practices: They practice jhum cultivation, involving the temporary clearing of land through burning vegetation for agricultural purposes.
  • Types of Pahariyas in Jharkhand

oMal Pahariya: Residing in the southern hills of Damin-i-koh and south and east of Santhal Parganas, they belong to the Proto-Ostroloid race.

oShauria Pahariya (or Maler Paharia): Predominantly found in Santhal Parganas.

  • Migration and Settlement: Initially located in Karnataka, they now inhabit the mountains of Rajmahal and Santhal Parganas.
  • Language and Communication: The Pahariyas communicate in their native language, "Malto," influenced by Havli and Chharisgarhi.
  • Religious Beliefs: They worship various deities including household, clan, and village gods such as Mait, Maa, Gangadi, Sunadi, Rupadi, and Budharaj.

Pahariya Revolt

  • About: The Pahariyas' Rebellion occurred in 1778 in the Raj Mahal Hills region, present-day Jharkhand, India, instigated by the encroachment of British authority on Pahariya territory.
  • British Response: In response to the rebellion, British authorities declared the Pahariya-inhabited region as "damni-kol," or forbidden territory, acknowledging the Pahariyas' resistance and agreeing not to extend their administration further into the area.
  • Significance of Damni-kol: Designating the region as damni-kol aimed to establish a buffer zone between British territories and the Pahariya stronghold, intending to prevent further conflicts and maintain stability.
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