A Critical Study of its Identity and Socio-Cultural Status in Odisha
The hallmark of Indian society has been often described as unity amidst diversity and heterogeneity. Indian society could be characterised in the form of religion, caste, region, ethnicity and tribe. However, none of these categories has been as contentious, conceptually and theoretically, as the category of tribe. In this context, this article analyses the Kisan tribes and their socio cultural identity and practices in Historical perspective. These tribes are the one of the dominant tribes of Odisha, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Bihar etc. The word 'Kisan' means a cultivator of the soil. The name 'Kisan' also highlights their attachment and devotion to cultivation. The Kisan tribe, also known as Badka (Elder) Oraons, is an off-shoot of the Oraon people (Dravidian group). After a brief introduction, the article analyses the settlement pattern and social identities, their language and diverse social and cultural organization. The article also highlights and focuses their economy, religion, social and community institution and their changing political and socio-economic life.