Pahariya Tribe

April 15, 2024

Jharkhand’s Pahariya tribe aims to achieve seed independence by depositing native varieties in community-led banks.

About Pahariya Tribe:

  • They live mainly in the states of Jharkhand and West Bengal. There are also scattered groups of them in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Odisha. 
  • They practise jhum or shifting cultivation that involves clearing land by burning vegetation for farming for a few years.
  • In Jharkhand, there are two types of Pahariyas.
    • Mal Pahariya: These people live in the southern hills of Damin-i-koh and in the south and east of Santhal Parganas. They are a race of Proto-Ostroloid.
    • Shauria Pahariya (or Maler Paharia): They are mostly found in Santhal Parganas.
    • Their main residential place was in the area of Karnataka. At present, they live in mountains of Rajmahal and Santhal Pargana. Their own language is “Malto”.
  • Religious Practices:
    • They worship their household, clan and village deities like Mait, Maa, Gangadi, Sunadi, Rupadi, Budharaj.
  • Language: They speak their own Pahariya language at home. Their language is influenced by Havli and Chharisgarhi.