House of Bhariya

Bhariya Tribe

Special backward tribe Bharia resides mainly in Jabalpur and Chhindwara in Madhya Pradesh. In Chhindwara, he lives in the Patalkot area of Tamiya block. The Bharias belong to the Dravidian group and scholars have placed them under the Bhumiya caste. The Bharias call themselves the younger brothers of the Gonds. For a time, inter-caste marriages also took place among Bharias and Gonds. The Bharias have forgotten their native language and they speak Bundelis mixed Hindi now. Bharias consider Mahoba or Bandhogarh as their native place. Based on the 1991 census, the population of Bharia-Bhumiya community in Madhya Pradesh was 2,23,284.

Bharias have been completely separated from their individual origin story or language etc., but they find their origin by linking themselves with Gond and Bhar or Pandu dynasty. According to a myth, a Gond sacrificed a Boda (a male buffalo) to please Goddess Ranjuk Mata. At the same time people from other villages reached there. The Gonds covered the sacrificed buffalo with a white cloth ‘fariya’. But they started insisting to know, ‘What is under the clothes of the foreigner who has come?’. As soon as the cloth was removed, a sixteen-year-old youth sitting under it suddenly stood up and said- 'I am Bhariya, the younger brother of the Gonds.'

According to a legend, Gond and Bharia brothers prepared to worship Badadev to please him, but Bharia fell asleep after drinking mahua too much and could not participate in the worship. Pleased with the worship of elder brother Gond, Baradev appeared to him under the tree of Saja, but Bharia was deprived of it. Since then the Gonds worship the top part of the Saja tree and the Bharias worship the roots of the Saja tree.

The Bharias live in the village by making their own separate sheds, in which their raw houses are built in two rows. In the courtyard in front of the house, there is a ‘medha’ built on four poles, which they use to dry Mahua, Guli and mango kernels. Like the Gonds and Baigas, the food of the Bharias is also ‘pej’ (a kind of paste which consists of maize, jowar, kutki or rice cooked with a lot of water). Bread made from mahua and mango seeds is a favorite dish of Bharias during the rainy season. Thethara is a kind of sweet bread, which is made from mahua fruit and jowar-maize flour on the occasion of festivals.

Bharias are fond of hunting and fishing. Bharias work as labourers in the fields, they often do not have their own land. Collection of minor forest produce and herbs is their second economic source. Apart from making bamboo baskets, supes, daliyas, brooms made of Chhind leaves and Devbahari grass, they also do the work of making wooden doors, door frames, bullock carts etc. Their broom made by knotting Devbahari grass is strong and beautiful. Bharia people also keep Magrohan or Manda made of haldu wood in the mandap on the occasion of a marriage. According to a bharia artist, Manda is a multi-storied palace, made of triangles and quadrilaterals, which connects the earth to the sky. The symbols of the ancestors are carved on it. Along with this manda, people of Bharia community also make wooden carved swords for marriage.

The Bharias perform rituals for the deceased by making an earthen round square, often by placing a rough stone on it and making a mandap, and they call it a person's big marriage (Bada Vivaah). Bharia houses have simple but beautiful carvings on the doors and door frames. On the occasion of marriage, the aura of the bride and groom's crown made from date leaves is amazing.

Bharia women are fond of tattoos and for them the work of tattooing is done by Ojha women. Tattoing of Bharia women is done with arched core above the eyebrows as well as some dots and horizontal lines on the forehead. A pot, crown, chair, rooster and dots made of 'Dhandha' are the favorite tattoos of Bhariya women. Bhadam, Saitam, Saila, Karma, Sua, Ahirai are the main dance forms of the Bharias.

House of Bhariya Tribe

Layout of Bhariya HouseLayout of Bhariya HouseThe Bharias build their houses themselves. The Bharias live by making their own sheds in flat regions. The habitation of Bhariyas' Dhanas (colonies) is similar to that of Korkus. Bharias like to live by building row houses lined up on both sides. By settling in this way, they also feel safe. It is mandatory to have a large fence behind each house, due to which the distance of each house automatically increases.

The houses of the Bharias are made of wood, straw and bamboo-sheets. The necessary material related to the house is obtained from forest. Khaprels (roof tiles) are also made by themselves. Bharias usually build houses on some high places by this way, they can maintain and look after their agriculture easily.

Generally there is a big room in the bharia house, in that there is a kitchen on one side. The room is divided into compartments made of clay and bamboo-sheets. There is a ‘saar’ made of wood in front of the house can be seen, in which cattle are tied. In the courtyard of the house, there is a ‘mudha’ made of four thick sticks, on which mahua, guli and mango kernels are dried.


Dadulal, Durgesh kumar, Krishan kumar, Narendra,Sunny, Jhaam singh, Sunita bharti, Santosh, Sakul

Region – Pataalkot, Chhindwara