Bison Horn Maria, an exotic tribal community of Chhattisgarh, Central India

Bison horn maria tribal

Above image:   Bison Horn Maria tribal community of central  India. Dressed to  perform Gaur dance

Tribal cap of Chhattisgarh state,

Bison horn Maria is a Tribal community of Chhattisgarh State of India that derives its name from its unique custom of wearing a distinctive headdress which resembles the horns of Bison. They generally wear that headdress during marriage dance or other ceremonies. The Bison horn shaped headdress worn by them nowadays made of cattle horns because of scarcity of Bison horns. It is neither a skull cap nor is it a simple hat worn by westerners or others. This state, the rice bowl of India is dominated by many tribes and is famous for natural wonders, cultural extravaganza centering around exotic tribal dances

Bison Horn Maria tribe dancers, Chhattisgarh, India

India's diverse tapestry of ethnic, linguistic, religious, and social groups makes it challenging to describe any single people group comprehensively. With over 935 million people, India ranks second in population only to China. The country's population density is approximately 762 people per square mile. Within this diversity, the Bison Horn Maria, a tribal community primarily located in the Garhichiroli District of Maharashtra and some parts of Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh (dense forest of Bastar) stand out. Tribes of this state are from the primitive race and still follow their traditional customs and age old archetypal rituals.

Central India, Bison Horn Maria

Scholars debate whether the tribes from the central India are part of the larger Gond tribal group or an earlier indigenous tribe assimilated by the Gond. Their name, "Bison Horn Maria," comes from their distinctive headdress used in marriage dances, decorated with the horns of now-extinct wild bison. Abhuj Maria and Muria tribes are also said to be  offshoots of native Gond tribes. 

Bison Horn Maria

Bison Horn Maria villages are composed of several hamlets encircled by sturdy fences. Their houses have three rooms, thatched roofs, and woven bamboo walls, with adjacent cattle sheds and pig sties. A special house for travelers is located near the village headman's home. Men of this tribe are noted for their long ponytails and carry a comb attached to their loincloths, along with a tobacco box. Women wear only a white skirt, leaving their upper bodies bare, and adorn themselves with various types of jewelry. The Bison Horn Maria have a particular fondness for landa, a rice beer consumed at all festivals and special occasions, often leading to a high incidence of violence and murder.

The Bison Horn Maria practice a blend of Hindu and animistic beliefs, following basic Hindu customs and traditions, including a belief in a supreme being and reincarnation. They believe a newborn child’s body will bear marks of the ancestor whose soul has been reincarnated. Medicine men hold significant power in the villages, with legends surrounding their spiritual and physical abilities. Illnesses are often attributed to occult forces manipulated by enemies. The tribe worships a variety of gods, with each village having a shrine for the clan god on its outskirts. These clan gods are territorial and interconnected, believed to protect the village and expose black magic within it.