HistoryThe most progressive tribes found in India are the Orans or Oraons. They are mostly the ones who are into education and worship in churches. An Indian Congress leader Kartik Oraon, was the most, educated Oraon and former State Communication Minister of India.
Albert Ekka, the Paramveer Chakra awardee (Highest Award for Bravery in India), The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Ranchi, Cardinal Telesphore Placidus Toppo, are Oraon.
The Orans have progressed over the years and have shifted to Indian Metro Cities like Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai and other smaller cities like Patna, Bhuvaneshwar, Bhopal, Hyderabad, Allahabad and Lucknow. They are also known as Kurukh tribes.
These tribes are mainly found in the states of Jharkhand, Bihar, West Bengal and Odisha. Oraons are the second largest population of tribes in Bihar and Jharkhand. Efficient, particularly in tea garden works, Oraons are believed to have settled in the Chotanagpur Plateau centuries ago.
The President of South Carolina Business Community and a Board Member of Costal Carolina University Oran P Smith, is an Oran of the Oran tribal community. It clearly reflects how far the people of the Ppogressive Tribe have reached, something which sets them apart from other tribes.
Place /Location (then and now)
Delhi, Patna, Bhopal, Hyderabad, Allahabad and Lucknow, West Bengal
Kurukh, Brahia, Paharia
Sarna Darma which is a sacred Groove
Oraon Tribal Community is divided into sub-castes like Kudas and Kisans, who follow patrilineal family customs. There are total of 14 clans in Oraon tribal community like, Gari, Lakra, Kispotta, Runda, Tirky, Toppo, Linda, Ekka, Kuzur, Bek, Kerketta, Bandi, Minz and Khalkho. Oran tribes abide by the village and clan exogamy. On the average a family consists of 7 to 8 resident members. They have the trend of sending the Oran youth to the Dormitories and these dorms are called Dhumkhia. Before allowing into this establishment the boys are marked on their arm. The dormitory gives a supply of farming labour who can be employed wherever necessary.
Special hunting ceremony is also celebrated exclusively for women folks in the Oran Society. This tribal community in India is also known world wide as they still believe in following age old custom of human sacrifice. These sacrifices are carried out during the famous Sarhul festival celebrated before cultivation of crops, as a mark of respect to please the local deity. They worship Gods and Goddesses but a great number of these tribes have adopted Christianity. In the ancient days, this community used to follow Sarna religion. Sana Darma is a sacred Groove. Rest of them are the followers of the Christian Religion. However both schools of thought live under the same roof called the Orans.
A remarkable feature of Oraon society is that it is one of the very few on earths (along with the neighboring Mundas and Marias) that practices human sacrifice (called otanga or orka by Oraons). Police records show that even as late as the 1980s there were a couple of sacrifices among the Munda, Maria, and Oraon tribes, and perhaps slightly more if one assumes that not all cases reached the police attention. These sacrifices are of course illegal and are treated as homicide under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code.
In the ancient days, Oraons used to make their living by chopping timber and selling forest products.
Majority of the population of Oraons can be found in Northeastern states engaged in the occupation of tea cultivation.
Now Orans have taken to various professions - these include tea estate managment in Assam, West Bengal and Nepal.
LanguageOrans speak the language called Kurukh which belongs to the Dravidian Family and is related to the Pahari language (language of mountains). It has a special recognition as it is taught in Ranchi University. Majority of the Oraon tribes are Hindus and are religious minded people. They also use other languages like Brahui and Paharia.
Both men and women consume alcohol, and prepare rice beer at home. Generally men chew tobacco and women smoke the Hookah.
The Oraon have their traditional community council at the village level headed by a Mahto. They have a regional council known as the Parha composed of a number of villages.
Orans two most important tribes are Sarhul and Karma. This tribe is also very fond of music and dance. Karma, Jadur, Dassai and Kagha Parva are their most favorite dances. Traditional instruments like Nagara, Kartal and Mandar are still used by these people.
A main deity is taken as Dharmes, and they also believe in a host of spirits. A priest is invited to perform their life cycle rituals. An Ojiha or mati is specially called to cure diseases by appeasing evil spirits. Both men and women participate in dance, which are performed at social events and festivals.