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 BODO TRIBES

 History 

The true ethnic Tribal Community of northwestern parts of Assam are Bodo Tribe & the Kachari is the sub branch of the Bodo. The Bodo Tribe resides in the Brahamaputra valley. Bodo Tribes are known to be the earliest settlers in Assam. They are the first to cultivate rice and rear silkworms.They are superstitious by nature and believe in rebirth. The word 'Bodo' has been derived from the word 'Bod' means Tibet. They are the largest ethnic and linguistic group of tribes. Bodos are a peace-loving people.


In Earlier times Bodos were cut off due to the geographical area and weather conditions from other parts of the Country. This was the main reason which lead to the lack of education and economy among them. Due to this, the arousal of the Bodoland Movement was initiated. The movement started in late 80's under the leadership of Upendra Nath Brahma who is now called as the Father of Bodos. A Bodoland Territorial Council is formed to save & protect the culture, language and identity of Bodos. It was managed and headed by All Bodo Students Union (ABSU) and an armed militant group called the Bodo Liberation Tigers (BLT). The land given to the Bodos was called as Bodoland. Most of the Bodos arrived from Bhutan Passes. The 6th Schedule of the Constitution of India has conferred Bodo Tribal Community the status and prestige of Plain Tribe. Kokrajhar town is regarded as the hub of Bodo tribal Community.



Place /Location (then and now)
Assam
Population
Close to 1 million
Languages spoken
Tibeto - Burmese language
Religion/God
Plant called siju is worshipped
Food
Rice, Milk

Culture

Culture of the whole society of the Bodo Tribe includes dancing, singing etc. One can find the surnames of Bodo Tribe as Bargayary, Bodosa, Boro, Owary, Wary, Ishwary, Goyary & Dwimary. They use the beautiful language of Bodo and some people in primitive age used Roman and Assamese Script. Bodos have quite exquisite dresses which are exhilirating the beauty and glamours of women. Dokna is the dress worn by Bodo women which they themselves knit on their own hands. Shawls form the major fashion among Bodos and thus loom is the most important thing used in the courtyard of the Bodo House. Bodos in the ancient times used to pray to their forefathers.

Today Bodo Tribal Community has changed significantly and has accepted Hinduism as their main religion. They practice a Culture known as Bathouism. The plant called Siju is worshipped as a symbol of Bathou Symbol. To worship, a clean ground near the home or the courtyard of the home is choosen. One pair of Betelnut called Goi betel leaf called pathwi is offered.The offering even included rice, milk and sugar. For the Kherai Puja an titlear is placed in the rice field. The Bodos do not practice dowry and caste system as per their rules of Brahma Dharma.

The famous folk dances of Bodo Tribe such as Bardaichikhla and Bagurumba are extremely colorful. The Bodo Tribal community follows a common system of marriage in all villages. Elders in the village fix the bride. Bride money is paid and they do not marry from other communities. Sunday is the best day for a Bodo Wedding. There have a taboo against marrying within the same clan. The groom is asked to stay with his father-in-law's family. The customs of Bodos have a ritualistic naming ceremony, when a cock is offered to the Gods for the welfare of the baby.

 Occupation 

Along with whole Indian communities even Bodo Communities have underwent changes and taken up several occupations. In early days Bodo tribes practiced farming and cultivation. Rice farming, tea plantation, pig & poultry farming, Silkworm Rearing is a major occupation of any Bodo Tribe. They have also developed in the years the art of craftsmanship by creating several products from bamboo. Weaving is also the popular occupation among Bodos. In very early age girls of Bodo Tribe learn the art of weaving.

 Food 

Bodo have favoritism and taste buds for some of the mouthwatering dishes. They are very much fond of conventional drink called Zu Mai, Zu means wine and Mai means rice. Rice is the main staple food but are savored with a non vegetarian dish like fish or pork. They now usually prefer non-vegetarian dishes. The main dishes are Oma Bedor, Onla and Narzi.

 Language  

The Bodos speak Tibeto - Burmese language. Nowadays the Bodos have accepted the Devanagari Language. Bodos have a language of their own called Deodahi.

 Festivals 

Baishagu is the most cherished, springtime festival celebrated by Bodo Tribe at the advent of the New Year. Famous for its myriad colours and merriment, Baishagu is celebrated during mid April. The other festivals which Bodo Tribe celebrates are Hapsa Hatarani, Awnkham, Gwrlwi, Janai, Bwisagu and Domashi. Among all the Kherai Festival includes singing, dancing and drumming celebrated with much rejoice.

 


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