Accepted Paper:

Origin, migration and present habitat of the Oraons: a major indigenous or Adivasi group of Jharkhand, India  


Rabindranath Sarma (Central University of Jharkhand)

Paper short abstract:

The Oraons, a major indigenous or Adivasi group of Eastern India has a number of folk elements are associated with their origin, migration and present habitat. There is a long history which is orally transmitted through generation to generation.

Paper long abstract:

The Oraons are a Dravidian language speaking people, representing the largest indigenous group in Jharkhand with roughly 19.60 percent of the total population. The Oraons are found in in the districts of Ranchi, Gumla, Lohardaga, Latehar, Palamu, Garhwa, Hazaribagh, Dhanbad, Santhal Pargana and Singhbhum.

According to the tradition, Konkan is said to be original home of the Oraons. Owing to the overpopulation and external pressure, they migrated from the west coast of India to north India. After some time, they settled down as agriculturists and landowners in the Shahabad district of Bihar. Driven by successive external settlements, they took shelter on the Rhotas plateau. They fortified the place but could not make it impregnable. Probably they were driven out by the Cheros.

While moving out from Rhotas, the Oraons split up into two branches. One branch proceeded down the Ganges and settled in the Rajmahal hills. Another branch proceeded south eastwards and settled and settled down in Palamu and northwest of Ranchi district, then occupied by the Mundas. The Oraons with better equipment and better knowledge of agriculture multiplied rapidly and became predominant in the northwestern and central part of the Chotnagpur plateau.

This is an attempt to explore the origin, migration and present habitat of the Oraons, from the Folkloristic point of view.

Panel P14
Circulation of cultural tropes in indigenous Adivasi India