Saturday, October 29, 2011

Nose pierced boys.

Now a days it is fashion and passion to boys to get pierce their ear and put small fancy rings in it, but you seem it strange ,these Dongria boys living in their own cocoon of their custom and tradition used to pierce their ears moreover nose to wear rings.

Boys of Dongria tribes get pierced their nose and ear to wear earrings and nose rings as the girls in Niyamgiri area do. It is customary here to pierce nose and ear of boys in their infancy and put rings. However, most of the boys in their later stages avoid wearing rings to look modern and to mingle with other community or due to poverty. The Dongria boys are easy to differentiate from others in a single look with their hairstyle and holed nose and ears.

nose pierced dongria boy

 nose pierced boy

infant nose pierced

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Beautiful girls of Niyamgiri hills.

It is a unique experience to climb Niyamagiri hills and enjoy beauty of the nature there. At the same time, omitting to say about the beauty of the folks living in Niyamgiri hills will be a great mistake. On hearing the word beauty, your first imagination will be of about the girls living there, but I have to say some other kind of beauty I could find in them, such beauty that cannot see in so-called developed societies.
In Niyamagiri the Dongria villages are small, of eight to twelve houses in a row, a maximum I found here is of eighteen houses, and you could imagine the village population then- average will not be more than hundred. In society of Dongria Kondhs, women enjoy the right of equality and sometime better to say they enjoying more rights than male have. Because these female members have some indispensable rolls in the family as their help needed inside and outside of the house. They have to do their household works from early morning before remaining members wake up to until every one of the family go to bed. They starts their works with cleaning outside of house, then go to fetch water for drink and cook from Jharana (stream) and cook and fed each one of the family. Next, she has to go with her husband to help him in cultivation, go to the market to sell or barter vegetables for necessities more over she has to take care of the younger children in the family too. Mean she will be working hard throughout the day. See the tolerance and will power of these women’s. The rights enjoying are well deserve by the women of Dongria tribes. The same reason the families considering the female members as their asset to the family.
One of the surprising things I could hear from these people are their custom of marriage. They select spouse from other villages but strictly, from same cast, most of the marriages are love marriage with the acceptance of villagers. There is a practice of eloping also and after that, the marriage formalized in front of clan head. However, the surprise I earlier said above is the Bride price. The bridegroom has to pay bride price to her parents before the marriage. Is it not surprising? We so called civilized people can ever imagine this kind of practice. (Some cast and region are exception in this case). Dowry is one of the curses gripped in the Indian societies now a day. Dowry deaths are not news today. Most of the dowry deaths are not reporting properly, either dowry deaths become accidental deaths in report. Our society considering girl children as burden to family so because these dowry deaths, female feticides and poor male female ratio existing in India. We the civilized, developed people need to learn from these primitive tribe of Dongria Kondh, how to respect the contribution of women in our family and in society and to consider as an asset and equality.
All of the above the Dongria Kondhs are God fearing people and know to respect the culture and values of their society. They have faith in their beliefs. They have evolved a system to continue their culture and values generation after generation for this in Dongria villages there is a Daasala (a kind of education system with boarding) where all the girl children compulsorily to stay till their maturity. From these Dasalaas they learn the culture and values, custom and tradition, rituals, household works, and arts like songs and dances. See the people’s responsibility towards their society. They know the social values are inherited from mother only, so they giving importance to female education. The above are inherent beauty of these tribe Dongrias.
Now it will be injustice if I do not say about the beautiful girls I could find in the Dongria villages. They are very much beauty conscious, their hairstyle ornaments and tattoos all are distinctive and giving them a different kind of beauty that cannot seen in cities. They are poor moreover they stays in hilltop jungles still these girls are like girls in plains, I wonder how much conscious they are on their beauty. I am unable to explain, here also I stick on my philosophy “a picture can explain much more than many words can do” so see the pictures of beautiful Dongria girls.
beautiful dongria girl

pretty girls
They use hair clips to shape and style the hair and drop folded fall in right or left side of the head as their taste. The hair clips are made of iron and brass. See the earring wearing style, a row of brass rings from earlobe to upper joint of ear; all the rings are made of brass. They pierce either side of nose and middle also to put rings, also see tattoo near eye, and on fore head. In addition, they tattoo their arms.
These ornaments – earrings, neck rings, hand rings and nose rings are made of brass or iron or some aluminum like alloy, they are making it locally at the villages.They use necklaces made of beads with small colorful beads, that also several and colorful, and wear neck rings over the necklaces of beads.beautiful girls
The below girl is wearing earrings  made of some alloy( white metal).
pretty girls

Friday, October 14, 2011

Jharnia the protectors of the streams!

I could not getting time these days to complete my travel story on Niyamgiri hills due to my unpredictable work nature, but today while waiting for my connecting flight to Patna at Delhi airport for about three hours give me opportunity to write this post (my favorite travel mode is train, but it is very difficult to get a reservation in trains during seasons-puja holiday, without reservation its horrible to travel in trains, even won’t get space to put your leg inside compartment. So I compelled to fly in Air India which have also no direct flight to Patna, first I have to fly Delhi and from there next flight to Patna )
Niyamgiri is the land of Dongrias; Dongria is a sub tribe of Kondha tribe. Khondha is an indigenous tribal group seen in the jungle-villages of Rayagada District of Orissa, but this sub tribe- Dongrias can be seen in Niyamgiri areas only .Dongria word came from the word Donger meaning hill and Donggria mean dwellers of the hill. The dongrias themselves call them Jharnia – jharana mean streams, because they totally depended upon the streams for their daily needs and agriculture needs and every Dongria villages are settled near streams. Their staple food is mandia (Ragi- finger millet) and corn which can be easily grown hill sides by burning forests.
Dongria Kondhs are ardent believers of nature and they least thought about the developments around. They make the houses with mud and use palm leaves for roofing. Men folks with their wives remain in jungle or agriculture field during day time and only children, young girls, sick and old aged can be seen in villages during the hours. I visited many dongria villages but could not see a single male in villages.
shifting cultivation of dongrias.
Their belief in god is strongly linked with the nature, as everything natural on earth is their god like as, earth is their goddess Dharani (supreme), Bhima is the god look after the crops, Takranj is the god helps to protect from disease and what more, the hill niyamgiri itself is a god namely Niyam Raja who protect from unnatural deaths.
jharana- stream
These people adopting nuclear family norms and their strong belief in their gods and disbelief in modernization keep them away from main stream, however the constant touches of tribal welfare workers and NGO’s helped a bit to come down in nearest markets and sells or in barter of vegetables, fruits and fire woods they purchases salt and other most necessity items. Their needs are limited even they won’t take medicines for treatment either any health worker given it to them they keep it on the walls of house only, never take it. The villagers are cent percent illiterate.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Tree or liana vine..?

Remembering my childhood days, we used to make swings with liana vine, but my children don’t believe me if I say this to them, because even to imagine, they have to see the vine at least once. I think the liana vines may be extinct from Kerala due to rapid urbanization and deforestation (I swear, myself had not seen liana vine for last twenty or more years in my village once which was abundantly seen there).

But my trek on Niyamgiri hills reminded me those good old days we used to swing on liana vine. Moreover it was surprising to me to see giant liana here in these eastern ghat jungles. Lianas vines are a kind of structural parasite which exploit the trunks and branches of trees for support to stand up and spread its own leaves above the forest canopy. In the early growth stage liana grow as normal other plant but later it has to take support of self supported plants due to its weak stem. Below is snap of a U shaped giant liana vine of Niyamgiri Jungle.vine liana

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Fate of Niyamgiri hills?

After my first posting about trek on Niyamgiri hills, I couldn’t write remaining stories due to some priority works. I have a lot to say about the wonderful things I saw in jungles of Niyamgiri- its people, living style and nature. Only my worry is that, I am not a writer to reproduce in words, the exciting beauty of Niyamgiri jungles I have seen through my eyes. A picture can say many things than a word can do, so the snaps taken by me may help me to describe the things. Before that I would like mention recent development and controversy over Niyamgiri hills.
view from tophill The beauty of the Niyamgiri hills and its inhabitants are exciting but can it be survive with the recent developments in the area? This is the question arrived in my mind after the trek on the hills of Niyamgiri. It is not certain that how many days it remain virgin, any day bulldozers may roll over her and loss virginity forever and Niyamgiri might soon become history. The hill is in controversy for last many years on the issue of mining by a mining giant Vedanta for bauxite, which is richly available in these hills.
village niyamgiri
The plan for invasion into the privacy of Niyamgiri starts from 1997 after a MOU signed by Vedanta and Orissa government to establish a Aluminum refinery in Lanjigarh area and to mining in Niyamagiri spreading over Kalhandi and Rayagada Districts of Orissa. In 2003 Vedanta applied to Ministry of Environment and Forest, India for a environmental clearance for establishing aluminum refinery , not for a environmental clearance to mining for bauxite in forest lands of Niyamagiri and the ministry granted environmental clearance to the refinery, subject to the company getting mining clearance before the refinery came into operation. After that many disputes and discussion were there in the Supreme Court of India and outside on granting permission-environmental clearance for mining in order to preserve the wildlife habitat and environment. Finally in 2008 December environmental clearance for mining in Niyamgiri obtained by Vedanta.
mother and child
But the environmental clearance is not the final, what is going to do with the poor tribes living in the area, those who believe the Niyamgiri is their God, and their lively hood is cultivation in forest land only? What are the measures going to be taken to prevent from environmental pollution? How to going to preserve the wildlife habitat?The environmentalists, NGO’s, social reformers and peoples (tribes) in the area are still agitating against the decision taken by the authority to grant permission for mining. What will be the fate of Niyamgiri hills?

Rudraksha beads of Shiva temple J P Nagar, Bangalore.

I have got an opportunity to get dharshan of  the holy deity of  JP Nagar Shiva Temple, Lord Shiva- the lord of Moksha. The  roof of ...