Bonda Tribe of Odisha sees rise in distress migration
About Bonda Tribe
- They live in in the isolated hill regions of the Malkangiri district of Odisha near the junction of the three states of Odisha, Chhattisgarh, and Andhra Pradesh
- Other names of Bonda tribes are Bondo, Bondo Poraja, Bhonda, or Remo
- They belong to a Munda ethnic group
- There are two different Bonda tribes: the Upper Bondas with a population of 6,700 who are the most isolated from mainstream Indian society, and the Lower Bonda with a population of 17,000. Upper Bondas have almost no connection to the outside world.
- The Bonda are a scheduled tribe of India and are also known as the Remo (meaning “people” in the Bonda language). The tribe is one of the oldest and most primitive in mainland India
- They are one of the 75 Primitive Tribal Groups identified by the Government of India.
- Their language belongs to the Munda branch of the Austroasiatic language family. It is most closely related to the Gutob language
Their society and culture
- Bonda boys are expected to marry between the ages of 10 and 12
- A form of dowry (known as Gining) is paid for brides.
- Divorce, also known as “Lung Sisi” is also an issue within the Bonda people. In some extreme circumstances, such as if a Bonda woman is divorced for adultery, the former husband demands double the price that was paid for their marriage
- When death or mora occurs, it is custom to sacrifice a cow on the tenth day, a practice also known as “Gaitang
- In Bonda society, women enjoy a privileged position.
- They are the primary workers and providers of food for the community.
- This matriarchal dominance is also seen in the marital norms of the community. Bonda girls largely marry boys who are at least five to ten years younger than them.
- Thus the girl looks after her husband as he grows up and in turn he cares for his older wife.
Bonded labour system among Bonda tribe
- The unfree labour or Goti system in India is known as Gufam by the Bonda people.
- A male bonded labour is called Gufam-Rem whereas a female laborer is a Gufam-Boy.
- Bonda people are often led to bonded labour through marriage, also known as diosing.