The Tribes of Odisha

Odisha occupies a unique position among the Indian States and Union Territories for having a rich and colourful tribal scenario. Majority of Scheduled Tribes live in hilly and forest regions. Their economy is largely subsistence oriented, non stratified and non-specialized. Their social system is simple and aspirations and needs are not many. Though the Scheduled Tribes in Odisha have suffered from social, educational and economic backwardness due to geo-historical reasons, they have their own distinctiveness and social-cultural milieu. The process of socio­economic development is going on after independence and has picked up momentum. 62 Scheduled Tribes in Odisha speak as many as 74 dialects. Their ethos, ideology, worldview, value­ orientations and cultural heritage are rich and varied. At one end of the scale there are nomadic food gatherers and hunters and at the other end, skilled settled agriculturists and horticulturists. The tribal areas of Odisha, therefore, present an extremely diverse socio-economic panorama.

 

 

      According to 2001 Census, the tribal population of the State is 81,45,081 constituting 22.13% of the total population of the State and 9.66% of the total tribal population of our country. There are 62 tribal communities including 13 Primitive Tribal Groups (PTGs) in the State. Odisha has the third largest concentration of tribal population in the country. About 44.70% of the State's geographical area which is known as Scheduled Area, extends over 118 out of 314 Blocks in 12 districts and covers Scheduled Tribe population of 55,46081. This accounts Jor about 68.09% of the total tribal population of the State. The remaining tribal population inhabits MADA / Cluster pockets and is dispersed in other areas that are covered under the Dispersed Tribal Development Programme (DTDP). The rate of literacy among the Scheduled Tribes is 37.37% against the overall literacy rate of 63.08% of the State as per 2001census. The tribal male and female literacy rates are 51.48% and 23.37% respectively. Over the last decade, there has been a significant improvement in literacy level among the STs in the State, which recorded an increase from 22.31 % in 1991 to 37.37% in 290 I. The list of 62 ST Communities enlisted by Government of India are given below.

 

Tribes

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