Tribal and Harijan Research-cum-Training Institute (THRTI), Bhubaneswar, 751003
Up in the hill ranges of Gatibera amidst a picturesque physical setting there lives in the plateau called Sonabera plateau in Kalahandi district the Bhunjias, a small tribe of about 7000 population having racial and cultural affinity with the Gonds of Odisha. The geographical barriers and lack of communication have been favourable to the tribal people for preserving the distinctive cultural landmarks of this little known tribe.In such a state of isolation the Bhunjias have had continued a healthy, vigorous and colourful life devoid of any indiscriminate contact with the outside civilization. But in the recent times this isolation has broken down and there has been inflow and outflow of population to and from the plateau. As a result of such cultural contacts the traditional tribal life is being considerably disrupted and in the process of transformation. In a large measure the contact has been a serious threat to the community and in order to keep themselves off from the debasing effects of cultural contact the Bhunjias, particularly the women section of the community who are the guardian of their tribal tradition have evolved suitable measures to safeguard their identity and integrity.This book which is written on the basis of direct observation and first hand contact with the people through intensive anthropological field investigation presents the traditional social system and cultural pattern of the tribe, types of changes which are taking place in the area and nature of problems and anxieties which have surfaced in the wake of increased external contact and communication. A suitable strategy has been evolved for all sided improvement of the Bhunjias. This strategy includes priorities of developmental programmes and ways and means of adjustment of the tribal population to the changed situation and their gradual integration in the general life of the country without undue and hasty disruption.