In news: The first cases of COVID have been reported among the Dongria Kondh tribe, settled in the Niyamgiri hills of Odisha. The tribes had remained untouched during the first wave.
About the tribe-
- The Dangaria Kandha or Dongria Kondh people are members of the Kondhs.
- They sustain themselves from the resources of the Niyamgiri forests, practising horticulture and shifting cultivation.
- Niyamgiri is a hill range spread over 250 km2 which falls under the Rayagada and Kalahandi District in south-west Odisha, India.
- The Dongria Kondh derive their name from dongar, meaning ‘agricultural land on hill slopes’, and the name for themselves is Jharnia – “protector of streams”.
- The people of Niyamgiri use Kui language which is not written.
- They worship Niyam Raja.
- The Kondh community is organized into many clans from which thirty-six clans are clearly identifiable where each clan possess their own customary territories which are locally also known as padars (consisting several hills).
The socio-political governing and decision-making body of the community is also known as Kutumba.