Tribal Culture and the Kondhs
Kondh is the prime tribe here. Though Sauras are also living here, then also the Kondh population has captured a major part of the total population of this district. There are also different types of Kondhs.
Among them, the Dangria Kandha tribe is the prime one. These people use to live in the Niyamgiri hills. This place comes under the Rayagada district. These people are peace loving ones. They are always appreciated due to their simple lifestyle. These people are greatly depending on shifting cultivation and horticulture to find their bread and butter. They are also called as the Dongaria Kondh.
These Kondhs use to worship the God of the Niyamgiri Jungle. Such god is also called as Niyam Raja. He is worshiped at the Mountain of Law that is 4,000m high. This mountain is also called as Niyam Dongar. The Dongria Kondhs use to have a great appreciation towards their gods, streams and hills. This can be seen with almost every aspect of their lives. Even with their arts and crafts you can find the presence of jungle, mountains, rivers, and their God Niyam Raja. These people have derived such name for them from the word Dongar that means Hill. They also called themselves as Jharnia which means protector of the streams.
Apart from them, the population of Kutia Kondh is also apparent in this district. These people also use to love in the Niyamgiri jungle. It’s the Niyamgiri forest which is known for its deep gorge, dense forest, cascading streams and hills. These people also use to farm on the fertile slopes of the Niyamgiri hills.
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