Tribal Habitats

Under the Museum of Mankind the Tribal habitat section of the museum comprises the replicas of five Houses of Tribes, like Santal, Juang, Gadaba, Saora and Kandha. Each of these is built along with their shrine crafts, arts and artifacts, and household appliances so as to imagine the entireness of the habitat in its physical settings. The 'Museum of Mankind' was inaugurated in July 1986. It provides an opportunity to the tribal lovers of India and abroad to be acquainted with the life style and material culture of the tribes through visiting their houses in the village settings. A rich collection of varieties of artifacts, crafts and art objects belonging to the five tribes are displayed in the respective tribal houses as per their perception, prescription and practice, confirming to their own genius.


Chhendi Dien

The typical circular shaped house of the Gadaba of Malkangiri district truly reflects their ancient cultural heritage. The Gadaba house (Chhendi Dien) stands before the Sadar-the village meeting place. It is cylindrical in shape with a conical roof supported by a central sal post. Wall are coloured with mud. The house has three sections. The bigger room serves the purpose of common room for family. The other small rooms are used as kitchen and deity room. The wooden cutting inside serves to store grains and personal belongings.


The Juang of Keonjhar district is a Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group. Conspicuous at the center of a Juang village is the Mandaghar, the hub of community life, a traditional council, a rest shed and a sleeping place for bachelors. The replica of Juang Mandaghar (Bachelors Dormitory) stands before the dancing arena. One may also find colourful wall painting at the outside walls. The verandah at the front provides ample space for smooth performance the household activities. At the corner of the dancing arena there is an upright piece of stone representing Grama siri fixed on the ground nearby is a carved wooden pole fixed to the ground, which serves as the 'Chheda Katha' (sacrifice post). The Youth dormitory is a kind of social school for the unmarried youth. Where an elderly man using the drum beat sing songs narrating stories of their ancestors.


The Santal are mainly concentrated in Mayurbhanj and adjoining Keonjhar district. The Santal hut (Olah) stands a little away from the Jahera Era - the sacred sal grove of a typical Santal village. Their house built on a rectangular or 'L' shaped ground plan and thatched with straw or naria tiles is very attractive with spectacular multicolored wall paintings and drawings. One can find colourful paintings of nature on the outer wall of the house. The main room has two sections. Smaller section serves as granary and deity room whereas the bigger section is a common room used for various purposes. There is a separate room for keeping the cattle, goats and agricultural implements. It is also used for doing routine household chores.


Saora, a Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group of Odisha, are largely found in districts of Gajapati, Ganjam, Kalahandi, Balasore, etc. The regular Saora house is rectangular at base thatched with wild grass. The house is painted with red mud. It has long and high verandah at both side of entrance. The importance of the Saora hut lies with its wall paintings- Idital, which is considered very sacred and ofTanger Sum and Gosada Sum, are the watch Gods of the Saora family and village respectively. Tanger Sum wards off evil spirits and works for the social and economic well-being of the people.


Galleries in the Museum:


SC communities

PVTG Handbooks
Tribe Photo Handbooks
Special Publications
News Letter


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