According to Census 1991, from 313 kinds of nomad tribes and 198 tribal groups, the government has recorded a population of 73.18 lakhs who resides in the state of Maharashtra for ages. These tribes were mainly found in the hilltops move in caravans across the state in search of livelihood. The major tribes that are found here are Gond Madia, Bhil, Koli, Warli, Halba, and Chaudhri, who still practice a primitive lifestyle. Though they mostly inhabit the hilly areas, their wandering has made them noticeable all over the state. Similarly, their cultural aspects and traditions also infiltrate, thus largely enriching the Maharashtrian culture.
Due to their wandering nature, the community lacks education and hence finds it difficult to adjust to the settled society. Maharashtra's most prominent tribal community is Warlis, which follows a unique set of cultures and customs created by their ancestors that are different from others. They are well known for their Warli paintings, which depict nature and village life in abundance. While the Bhil people, another indigenous group, follow farming for survival, they were traditionally expert hunters by profession, often found in the deep forests. They are very religious people following Hinduism and worships deities like Sitla Matta and Mogra Deo. Gond Maria community functions within their clan but doesn’t marry from their immediate family. Instead, they choose multiple spouses from cross-cousins to build their generations. Their occupation mainly includes hunting, farming, and cattle sales. The other most notable ethnic group from Maharashtra is the Kolis. The folk dance of this tribe is famous, and they are also known for their cuisines. Halba community also resides in other states which share borders with Maharashtra. Though their main livelihood is based on animal husbandry and cultivation, their wood carvings and bronze crafts are in great demand in the market. Some of the artisans from the group are also into trading various forest products, especially bamboo crafts. Chaudhris used to make their living out of weaving and jewelry making previously, but now many of them have shifted to the cities and directly lead a contemporary lifestyle.
Nagpur is one of the largest cities in Maharashtra. Proposed as one of the smart cities of India, this region is a strong commercial and political center from the Vidarbha region. The city was founded in 1703 by the Gonds King Bakht Buland Shah of Deogarh and later became a part of the Maratha Empire under the royal Bhonsale dynasty. The place is also well known for its Nagpur oranges and hence known as the Orange City for its large-scale trading of the fruit widely cultivated in the region. Nagpur was previously known as ‘Fanindrapura’, a name derived from the word 'Fana' meaning hood of a cobra. The place holds a tremendous political heritage famous for the strong Dalit Buddhist movements. Because of the cosmopolitan nature now, the city's current culture is primarily influenced by various parts of the country. However, it mainly rests on the Vidarbha way of living. Nagpur is particularly acclaimed for the folk dances and songs they have inherited from their ancestors.
Tribal Lady Bottle Craft Theme
The tribal lady bottle is an innovative artwork made of a small sauce bottle and white M-SEAL. The product is exclusively developed to recognize the importance of our tribal communities who treasures age-old cultures and ethnicities. The bottle holds the shape of a tribal woman dressed in their tribal attire and jewelry. The reason behind the initiative is to exhibit their culture and in this way get more people aware of the Maharashtrian tribes. Mrs. Vaishali H. Kawre is an artisan from Nagpur who preserves this unique art. She is the owner cum trainer at the Creative Craft, Nagpur, who runs the art center for 22 years.