Tribal Asia : the Gadaba of Orissa
The Gadaba are a primitive tribe classified as Mundari or Kolarian on linguistic grounds. The word Gadavb signifies a person who carries loads on his shoulders. The tribe call themselves Guthan. They speak a mundari dialect, called Gadaba after tribal name and are one of the two-mundari tribes found so far south as Visakhapatnam. The Gadabas are a tribe of agriculturists, coolies and huntres. The Gadabas are also employed as bearers in the hills and carry palanquins. There is a tradition that the tribes owes its name to the fact that its ancestors emigrated from the bank of Godavery river and settled in Nandapur, the former capital of Rajas of Jeypore. The Gadabas are also employed as bearers in the hills and carry palanquins. The Gadabas living in such villages in the vicinity of the more civilized people forget their native tongue, dress and custom and took up those of the hindu people. It is now very hard to identify the tribe of such men unless they themselves tell us what their tribe is.They are enlisted as Scheduled Tribe. Besides Malkangiri this tribe is found in Koraput (photo’s taken at Hanumal), Kalahandi, Sundergarh, Gangam, Sampalpur and Boudh Phulbani districts of Orissa. They like to marry within their relations. Cultivation and cattle rearing is the means of their livilihood.
Published on 4/12/07