Bhubaneswar: The ST & SC Development Department has taken up virtual tour to Odisha State Tribal Museum on every Sunday due to the Covid pandemic. This Sunday the visitors can visit the Dongria Kandha of the Niyamagiri by opening the Facebook and Twitter pages @stscdev, @scstrti, said Director, SCSTRTI, Prof. (Dr.) A.B. Ota.
The Dongria Kandha of the Niyamagiri mainly resides in the Rayagada (Eastern Ghats Region). Their occupations are embroidery, wood carving and decorating, wall painting, comb making, pineapple cultivation and fruit processing.
A segment of the larger Kandha tribe, the Dongria Kandha is skilled horticulturists famous for their turmeric, pineapple and banana crops.
Calling themselves ‘Jharania’ or those who live by the streams, the Dongria Kandha believe they are the descendants of Niyama Raja, the legendary king of the Niyamagiri hills. They speak Kuvi, a Dravidian dialect.
The Earth-Goddess (Dharani Penu) is their supreme deity lies in the middle of the village street. They observe Meria or Kedu festival to appease Earth Goddess, Dharani Penu. Both males and females grow long hair and wear earrings and nose-rings. They stich colourfully embroidered shawls known as ‘Kapada Ganda’.