Monday, December 20, 2010

Baiga Dance



The Baiga tribals are found in the Mandla and Balaghat districts of Madhya Pradesh and are known for their unique culture. They do not interact even with other tribals like the Gonds, believe in a hand-to-mouth existence, and do not try to access education, eat outside their community, or associate with others. After a death in the family, the Baigas just leave the house and build another. They are totally dependent on the jungle.

The Baiga tribes practice shifting cultivation in forest areas. They say they never ploughed the Earth, because it would be like scratching the breast of their Mother, and how could they possibly ask Mother to produce food from the same patch of earth time and time again – she would have become weakened. That’s why

Baigas used to lived a semi-nomadic life, and practised Bewar cultivation (slash-and-burn) – out of respect, not aggression. Thousands of squire miles of sal forests have been clean destroyed by them in the progress of their dahiya cultivation, the ground being afterwards occupied by dense scrub of low sal species springing from the stumps. Over the past 40 years, nearly 27 Baiga villages have been cleared out of the core area of the Kanha National Park, to protect the natural life forms there.


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