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ASUR TRIBES

History :
Asur tribes are usually found in the state of Jharkhand in the eastern part of the subcontinent of India. One of the thirty major tribes is Asur in Jharkhand who have made the state of Jharkhand their home. The people of this tribe form quite a big part of the total population of the state of Jharkhand.

It ranks 21st among all the 30 tribal groups of the state, in terms of population, that is, there are as many as 9 tribal groups in the state that have a smaller population than the Asurs of Jharkhand. Asur Tribe is one of the most ancient ethnic groups in the states of Jharkhand. The Asur tribe in Jharkhand stays within houses made of clay. They moslty live in villages that are grouped into tolas for the convenience of the people.

The houses of Asur Tribe do not have any windows. The Asur Tribe love to make their houses look even more beautiful by painting them on their external walls. They thrive mostly on the flesh of animals and birds and rice. The total population of the tribal group of Asur is 7783.

Literacy rate of Jharkhand population is not very much satisfactory. The rate is only 10.62%. The people who belong to the Asur tribe cover only 0.13 % of the total population of the state.


Origin
The Beginning of Indian pauranik and classical history make sense only after 'asuras' as a verbal cue for slavery and slave masters /traders is used. The story of Bali is in the similarly the 'righteous' Asura king, who was sent to the patalaloka, by Vamana and the moment 'demons' are defined as slave-owners and enslavers. As once asura for slave traders /owners is used, the reading of Indian Vedas, Puranas, Upanishads, Mahabharat and Ramayana, everything, begins to makes much sense - especially historical sense. Without this interpretation, there are missing elements. For example the story of Bali and Vamana, the horror stricken response of readers to Sita-apaharan by Ravana and others. Jataka stories are the cautionary tales for adults, mainly considered as children's stories in the West, which also reflect social mores and realities of the times.

Place /Location (then and now)
Jharkhand
Population
0.13 % of the total population of the state of Jharkhand
Languages spoken
Hindi
Religion/God
Hindiusm and Christanity
Food
Rice, flesh of birds and animals
Festivals
Khalihani Puja, Goraiya Puja, Deothan Puja, Kharoch Puja, Phagu and Pitar Puja

Culture
Asur's culture is found embedded in their household possession which includes utensils, furniture, war weapons, hunting implements, iron-smelting implements, baskets, dress, ornaments etc. The Asur build their house with the help of mud, wooden poles, bamboo, leaves, grasses and tiles. The house is rectangular in shape. Each house consists of one or two rooms with a balcony. There is door and wooden gate and no window.

For purpose of cooking they have earthen pots, aluminium utensils, iron utensils and some utensils of bronze in their houses and even for serving food, storing water and grains. They use many kinds of baskets for storing and carrying things. For hunting animals and for protecting themselves from enemies they have axe, knife, Bhala, Ber, Kudal, Khanti, Khurapi etc for collection of forest produce. Their musical instruments include Dhol and Flute.

Clothes
The Asur Tribal men wear Dhoti and have a Gamchha on their head or shoulder. They wear ganji and kurta when they have to go out of the village, they use plastic shoes or slippers at the time of going to market or to some other villages. The women wear Sari, Saya and Blouse. Previously Asur woman used to cover their entire body with the same sari without Blouse and Saya. The Asur children wear Pant, Ganji, Shirt and Salwar Suit in late childhood. In early childhood, the children wear Ganji or Shirt only. They purchase clothes from the local Haat. Asur women are very much fond of ornaments which they wear in fingers, wrist, neck, ear and feet. Their ornaments are made up of bronze, steel, glass, thread, wild seeds and imitation of gold and silver. Now-a-days tattooing is not so popular.

Marriage is very important and essential ritual which comes in the life of every individual. Only physically disabled are not able to get married. The Asur follow the rule of monogamy, but in case of barrenness, widower and widow hood, they follow the rule of bigamy or even Polygamy. Widow re-marriages are permissible. They follow the rule of tribe endogamy at the time of marriage. People who do not follow the rules are thrown out from the community but are allowed after paying seven times feast to the community members.

Religion
The Asur religion is the combination of animism, animatism, naturalism and ancestral worships. They believe in black magic like Bhut-pret and witchcraft. Asur's chief Deity is Singbonga; other deities are Dharati Mata, Duari, Patdaraha and Turi Husid.

The festival they celebrate are like Sarhul, Karma, Dhanbuni, Kadelta, Rajj karma, Dasahara Karam, Deothan Puja, Kharoch Puja, Khalihani Puja, Goraiya Puja, Phagu and Pitar Puja. The Asur Tribe offer sacrifice of goat, chicks, duck and eggs at the time of worship to please the deity. They worship at community level, and all the ritual is done by the sacred specialist called Baiga.

He is assisted by Deori. . The Asur also believe in witchcraft. To get rid of the attack of Bhuta-Preta they go to the Ojha. They also have faith in Dain. Some Asurs Tribes have adopted Christianity. They visit churches and celebrate Christian festivals.