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The Bedia Project

The Neglected Tribes of Jharkhand: The Bedia, A Socio-cultural Study

Major research project sponsored by Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Govt. of India

CONTENTS

Introduction01

Part I :: THE FIELD SITUATION

Chapter 1   The Field
State and Districts09
The Bedia in Jharkhand State10
Blocks13
Angada Block13
Gola Block14
Ormanjhi Block16
Ramgarh Block18
Silli Block20
Tribal Population in Jharkhand21
The Bedia population in Jharkhand22
Summary23
Chapter 2   The Village Situation
The Villages under study25
The Area of the villages27
Forest area28
Population of the Villages29
Bedia Population29
Ethnic Composition30
Distance of the Villages From31
Police Station34
Post Office35
Sub divisional Town35
Girls School36
Daily Market36
Bus Stand37
Liquor Shop38
Bank38
Cinema Hall39
Railway Station39
College40
Telephone Booth41
General Facilities in the Villages41
Grocery Shop41
Tea Shop42
Hand Pump42
Well43
Mahua / Toddy Shop43
Medical Shop44
Primary Schools44
Health Centre45
Tractors45
Temple46
Electricity46
Housing in the Villages47
Development Schemes48
Indira Awas Yojana48
Jaldhara49
National Nutrition Programme49
Check Dams49
Pump Sets for Lift Irrigation49
Community Building49
Problems in the Villages49
Drinking Water49
School50
Health Centres50
Road50
Irrigation50
Electricity50
Chapter 3   The Dramatis Personae
Nomenclature51
Origin52
History52
Story No. 152
Story No. 253
Story No. 353
Story No. 454
Story No. 554
Story No. 654
Migration55
Physical Features55
Language55
Dress and Ornaments56
Clan56
Age of Informants58
Age of informants - Clan wise59
Age of informants - Education wise60
Age of informants - Age at the Time of Marriage60
Education62
Marital Status63
Distance of in Law's Village63
Religion64
Total Members in the Family65
Family Members Living Outside66
Hygienic Practices66
Summary67

Part II :: THE CULTURE

Chapter 4   The Bedia Economy
Occupations69
Primary Occupations70
Secondary Occupation71
Occupation of Other Members of the Family72
Land73
Homestead Land74
Bari (Kitchen Garden) Land74
Don (Lowland)75
Tanr (Upland)77
Total Land Holding77
Livestock79
Oxen79
Buffalo79
Cow80
Goats80
Pigs81
Poultry81
Total Livestock82
Agriculture83
Minor Forest Produce86
Housing87
Household Assets92
Furniture92
Kitchen Items94
Modern Items94
Income94
Income from Primary Occupation95
Income from Secondary Occupations97
Income of Other Members of the Family98
Total Annual Income of Family98
Expenditure99
Cereals100
Pulses100
Vegetable100
Cooking Oil100
Kerosene Oil100
Clothes100
Medicine101
Alcoholic Drinks101
Total Expenditure101
Income and Expenditure102
Indebtedness103
Bedia Indebtedness – Purpose103
Bedia Indebtedness – Sources of Loan104
Summary105
Chapter 5   Family and Children
The Family107
Types of family107
Decision Making in the Family108
Interpersonal Relationships111
Husband-Wife Relationship112
Parent-Child Relationships113
Sibling Relationship114
Children114
Children’s Education117
Assistance from Children121
Summary123
Chapter 6   The Life Cycle
Birth125
Marriage127
Selection of Bride127
Marriage Payments132
The Marriage Ceremony135
Dol Pheri135
Chaidh Barat135
Divorce137
Remarriage137
Death138
Cremation138
Burial138
The Last Rites138
Summary139
Chapter 7   Food Habits
Cereals140
Pulses141
Roots and Tubers142
Spinach143
Cooking Medium144
Eating Habits145
Daily Items145
Weekly Items146
Occasional Items146
Ceremonial Items147
Drinking147
Tobacco150
Summary150
Chapter 8   The Religion
The Gods and Goddesses151
Tribal Gods and Goddesses152
Hindu Gods and Goddesses152
Festivals153
Tribal Festivals153
Suryahi153
Duwair Sini154
Manda154
Karma155
Sohrai155
Sarhul156
Chhata Puja157
Ashadhi157
Dangri157
Hindu Festivals158
Jitia158
Durga Puja158
Makar Sankranti (Aundi Baundi)158
Holi158
Rath Yatra158
Chait158
Chauth159
Exclusive Bedia Sacred Performance159
Sacred Centres159
Devsthal159
Sarna160
Madai160
Akhra160
Temple160
Sacred Specialists160
Summary161
Chapter 9   The Political Dimension
Traditional Political Organization163
Political Awareness164
Voting in Elections164
Knowing the Leaders165
Political Activity167
Summary167
Chapter 10   The Bedia Problems
Economic Problems168
Land168
Fertiliser169
Irrigation169
Unemployment169
Indebtedness169
Problem of Identity170
Education and Illiteracy170
Shy Nature – Fear of Officialdom171
Negligence on the part of Government171
Problems of the Elders172
Housing172
Drainage172
Toilet172
Drinking Water173
Balanced Diet173

Part III :: CONCLUSION

Chapter 11   Summary and Conclusion
Summary174
Conclusion180
Chapter 12   Recommendations
183

APPENDIX

Village Schedule189
Household Schedule196
Bibliography213


TABLE OF FIGURES

Chapter 1   The Area
Maps
The Bedia Area in Jharkhand State10
Hazaribagh District10
Ranchi District11
Map showing Major Agricultural Produce of the Jharkhand State11
State of Jharkhand – Physical Characteristics12
State of Jharkhand – Mineral Resources12
Map of Ormanjhi Block16
Tables
Table showing the comparative features of the five blocks13
Tribal Population in Jharkhand21
Charts
Population of Bedia and other tribes in the villages of Angada Block13
Bedia Population – Male and Female in Angada Block14
Forest area and Total area in the villages of Angada Block14
Population of Bedia and other tribes in Angada Block15
Male and Female population of Bedia in Gola Block15
Literacy in Ormanjhi Block16
Tribal and Bedia Population in Ormanjhi Block17
Bedia Male and Female Population – Ormanjhi Block17
Village area and Forest Area in Ormanjhi Block18
Number of Castes and Tribes in Ormanjhi Block18
Forest area and Village area in Ormanjhi Block19
Total, Tribal, and Non Tribal Population in Ramgarh Block19
Tribal and Bedia Population in Ramgarh Block20
Village area and Forest Area in Silli Block20
Bedia Population in Jharkhand23
Bedia Population in Jharkhand23

Chapter 2   The Village Situation
Tables
List of Villages Studied in this Project26
Summary of Demographic Village Data27
Distance of the Villages From31
Distance of the Villages from (2)32
Summary of Distances from Various Centres33
General Facilities in the Villages – Grocery Shop41
General Facilities in the Villages – Tea Shop42
General Facilities in the Villages – Hand pump43
General Facilities in the Villages – Well43
General Facilities in the Villages – Mahua/Toddy shop44
General Facilities in the Villages – Medical Shop44
General Facilities in the Villages – Primary School45
General Facilities in the Villages – Health Centre45
General Facilities in the Villages – Tractor45
General Facilities in the Villages – Temple46
General Facilities in the Villages – Electricity46
Charts
Village Area28
Total Population of the Villages29
Total Household and Bedia Household29
Number of Tribes in the Villages30
Average Distance of Villages34
Distance of the Villages from Police Station34
Distance of the Villages from Post Office35
Distance of the Villages from Sub divisional Town35
Distance of the Villages from Girls School36
Distance of the Villages from Daily Market36
Distance of the Villages from Bus Stand37
Distance of the Villages from Liquor Shop38
Distance of the Villages from Bank38
Distance of the Villages from Cinema Hall39
Distance of the Villages from Railway Station40
Distance of the Villages from College40
Distance of the Villages from Telephone Booth41
Photos
Ajaigarh Village28
Bedia Villagers - Huhu30
A Bedia Village Market37
Tea shop without custom, Kundru khurd42
A hand pump serves a number of families (Piska)42
This primary school is lucky, the teachers are present44
A small village temple, Piska village46
A Standard Bedia Hut, Hesatu47
A Bedia Village48

Chapter 3   The Dramatis Personae
Tables
Bedia Clan57
Age of Informants58
Age of Informants - Clan wise59
Age of Informants – Education wise60
Age of Informants – At the Time of Marriage61
Education of Respondents62
Marital status of the Bedia63
Distance of in Law’s Village63
Religion of the Informants64
Total Members in the Family65
Number of Persons Living Outside66
Economic Contribution of Persons Living Outside66
Hygienic Practices67
Charts
Bedia Clans58
Average Bedia Age at the time of Marriage62
Total Members in Bedia Family65

Chapter 4   The Bedia Economy
Charts
Primary Occupations of the Bedia70
Secondary Occupations72
Jobs of other members of the Family73
Total Land Holding78
Bedia Agriculture84
Total annual Income99
Total Bedia Expenditure102
Bedia Income and Expenditure102
Photos
Bedia Bari land75
The Bedia Field78
Bedia Livestock82
Bedia livestock – A villager coming back from the field83
Bedia vegetable field (Silli)85
Fuel wood collection is a daily chore of Bedia women87
The Old and the New – the Bedia hut and Indira Awas89
A Bedia Hut (Angada)89
A Bedia Indira Awas (Ormanjhi)90
A Bedia Room91
Bedia Housing – Brick Wall and Mud Wall93
A Bedia Room93
A Bedia Outer Veranda94
Paddy Transplantation, Hakedag96
A Bedia family in vegetable field96
Tables
Primary Occupations of the Bedia70
Secondary Occupations of the Bedia71
Jobs of Other Members of the Family72
Bedia Land Holding – Homestead Land74
Bedia Land Holding – Bari Land75
Bedia Land Holding – Low land76
Bedia Land Holding - Upland77
Bedia Land Holding - Total77
Bedia Livestock – Oxen79
Bedia Livestock – Buffalo79
Bedia Live stock – Cow80
Bedia Livestock – Goats80
Bedia Livestock - Pigs81
Bedia Livestock - Poultry81
Livestock – Total Number82
Livestock – Value in Rupees83
Agriculture – Items of Cultivation85
Collection of Minor Forest Produce86
Collection of M F P – Value in Rupees87
Bedia House – Type of Walls88
Bedia House – Wall type and Roof88
Bedia House – Number of Rooms88
Bedia House – Walls and Kitchen89
Bedia House – Kitchen and Number of rooms90
Bedia House – Wall type and Toilet91
Bedia House – Wall type and Cattle shed91
Bedia House – Materials for Furniture92
Bedia House – Furniture Value93
Bedia House – Kitchen Items94
Income from Primary Occupation (in Rupees)95
Income from Secondary Occupations97
Income of other members of the family98
Total Annual Income of the Family98
Bedia Expenditure at a Glance99
Total Expenditure of the Family101
Bedia Indebtedness - Purpose103
Bedia Indebtedness – Sources of Loan104

Chapter 5   The Family and Children
Tables
Decision Making - Agriculture108
Decision Making - Animal Husbandry108
Decision Making - Food109
Decision Making - Children's Affairs109
Decision Making - Clothes109
Decision Making - Treatment of Diseases109
Decision Making - Sale/ Purchase of Land110
Decision Making - Sale/ Purchase of Cattle110
Decision Making - Marriage of Children110
Decision Making - Gift Giving110
Decision Making - Bride Price111
Decision Making - Education111
Decision Making - Voting in Elections111
Family Planning115
Family Planning - Necessity115
Family Planning - Reasons115
Family Planning - Methods116
What is the Ideal No. of Children?116
Ideal Spacing in Child birth117
Do You Think Girls' Education is Necessary?117
Reasons for Girl’s Education117
Which job do you expect the boys to do after education?118
Which Job do you expect the girls to do after education?119
Do Your Children Go to School?119
Number of School Going Children120
Distance of School120
Assistance from Children - Agriculture121
Assistance from Children – Animal Husbandry122
Assistance from Children – Collection of M F P122
Assistance from Children – Cattle-herding122
Assistance from Children – Sibling Care122
Assistance from Children – Marketing123
Assistance from Children – Earn Wages123
Photos
A Bedia Family114
Bedia Children Playing Beside their Home120
A Respite from MFP Collection121

Chapter 6   Life Cycle Rituals
Photos
Bedia Marriage Rituals128
Bedia Marriage – Social Gathering129
Bedia Marriage Rituals - 2129
Bedia Marriage Rituals - 3131
Bedia Marriage Rituals - 4133
Bedia Marriage – Sindoordan133
Bedia Marriage Rituals - 5134
Bedia Marriage Rituals - 6136
Tables
Bride Selection Criteria128
Bride Selection Criteria – Love Vis a Vis Looks130
Bride Selection Criteria – Love Vis a Vis Economic Status130
Bride Selection Criteria – Love Vis a Vis Social Status130
Bride Selection Criteria – Social Status Vis a Vis Economic Status131
Bride Selection Criteria – Looks Vis a Vis Social Status131
Reasons for Divorce137

Chapter 7   The Food Habits
Tables
Consumption of Cereals141
Consumption of Pulses142
Consumption of Roots and Tubers143
Consumption of Spinach143
Cooking Medium – Mustard Oil144
Cooking Medium – Sarguja Oil144
Cooking Medium – Other Items145
Food Items - Daily145
Food Items - Weekly146
Food Items - Occasional146
Food Items - Ceremonial147
Drinks148
Drinks – Spouse148
Drinks – Frequency148
Drinks – Expenses149

Chapter 8   The Religion
Photos
A Bedia Ritual156
A Bedia Ritual – He-goat Sacrifice157
A Bedia Ritual159
A Bedia Sacred Centre160

Chapter 9   The Political Dimension
Tables
Diagrammatic Representation of Bedia Traditional Political Setup163
Voting in Assembly Elections164
Which Party did you Vote For in Assembly Elections?164
Which Party did you Vote For in Parliament Elections?164
How do you decide to Vote?165
Name the Leaders166
Photo
A Bedia Meeting in Progress166