Bhils Tribe- An introduction
Bhils tribes of India are the the largest tribe of South Asia comprising 39% of the total population of Rajasthan. These Indian tribes have a mention even in epics like Mahabharata and Ramayana. Going by legends Bhil women offered ber to Lord Rama, when he was in the jungles of Dhandaka, searching Sita. In the recent history as well these tribes of India were regarded as the fighters who were in a war against the Mughals, Marathas and the Britishers.
Bhils Tribe- Location
These tribes are largely found in Rajasthan. Bhils tribe are classified into two groups- the central or pure bhils and eastern or Rajput Bhils. The central category of these Indian tribes are found in mountain regions in the Indian states of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujrat and Rajasthan. Bhils tribes are also found in the north eastern parts of Tripura.
Bhils Tribe- Language
Bhili, which is an Indo Aryan language is the prime language spoken by Bhils tribes of India.
Bhils Tribe- Costumes
Traditional saris, loose long frock along with pyjama are the forte dress of women and men respectively of the Bhils tribes. The peasants wear turbans and Bhils also wear brass ornaments.
Bhils Tribe- Religion
These Indian tribes have a unique religious and ritual beliefs. Bhils tribes of India worship local deities like Khandoba, Kanhoba and Sitalmata. Tiger God called 'vaghdev' is also worshiped. They have no temples of their own though, but they have Bhagat or Gurus who perform the religious rites. On important occasions they consult Badvas- the hereditary sorcerer.
Bhils Tribe- Culture
The culture could be most enjoyable of all the tribes we have seen on our Indian tribal tour. These tribes of India are known for their distinctive society culture. The have a Panchayat like culture where the village headsmen deals with all the major disputes. The strictly adhere to the rules of the society and marry only in their own class. Rich on culture they give a lot of importance to dance and music. Ghoomar is the most famous dance amongst Bhils tribes of India. Than Gair is the religious dance drama performed by the men in the month of Sharavana (July and August). Highly talented on sculptures art, they make beautiful horses, elephants, tigers, deities out of clay.
Bhils Tribe- Fairs and Festivals
Baneshwar fair held during the period of Shivatri (in the month of January or February) dedicated to Baneshwar Mahadev also known as Lord Shiva is the main festival amongst Bhils tribes. During the festival these Indian tribes set up camps on the banks of the Som and Mahi river, perform dance around the fire and sing traditional songs. At night the raslila at the Lakshmi Narayan temple is a must watch.
Cultural shows, magic shows, animal shows acrobatic feast are the center of attraction at the fair. They also celebrate Holy and Dusshera.