Orissa has the largest number of tribes in India. There are as many as 62 tribes in Orissa having different styles of living. It is seen that the womenfolk of most of the tribes, wear typical ornaments made out of brass/bell metal/silver/white metals made by a particular section of artisans mainly found in Rayagada, Phulbani, Gajapati, Koraput, Nawarangpur and Dhenkanal districts. The significance of this community is specific. With design intervention, the artisan could make a wide range of fashion jewellery for modern society. There is a scope for the export of such jewellery.
Major population in Orissa is tribal. The number of tribes that reside in Orissa is the highest anywhere in India. All the districts of Orissa have a tribal population in it. The Heritage and crafts of Orissa are enriched with different categories of products such as Applique, Tribal jewellery, Dhokra casting, Wood carving etc.
In Orissa, few tribes are in a better economic position and are well mixed up in society. They are also the most backward in the economic ladder of Orissa. Different tribes have a different culture, traditions, language, and observance. The most important tribes are the skandhas, Bondas, Koyas, Gadabas, Gondas, Santhals and Mundas. Each tribe has its own music, dance, and rich socio-cultural traits.
Tribal jewellery is the spirit of primal mankind articulated in shapes and designs. The strong-minded character, the strength of spirit, cultural background, ideas and legends of these people were handed down from generations to find a safe haven in the various tribes and their ethnic culture.
Tribal jewellery made by indigenous tribal artisans using local materials to create objects of adornment that contain significant cultural meaning for the wearer. Authentic handcrafted tribal jewellery is very different from what you will find in department stores. Tribal jewellery of Orissa is becoming popular in the international market day by day. Its demand is increasing in the market with every passing day. The tribal jewellery of Orissa is considered as very ethnic, elegant and modern.