Introduction / History
The Bhumia Scheduled Tribe are also known as Bhumia Thakur to their neighbors. They live in Madya Pradesh, in the plains from Kami to Jabalpur. They are believed to be the early settlers in the Jabalpur region. The name Bhumia is connected to the word "bhumi" which means "land". The Bhumi are land owning agriculturists who live in south India. They speak Jabalpuri and Hindi. They mainly eat wheat and rice.
They have 3 subgroups: the Chote Rathor, the Bere Rathor and the Naik which have other clans. Marriages with the daughter of the mother's brother and the daughter of the father's sister are allowed. All sons have equal shares in the property. The women are involved in many matters concerning money. The Bhumia believe in ancestor worship. They cremate the dead and perform death rites on the ninth or tenth day after death and then have a funeral feast.
The Bhumia are usually wage earners and only a few of them are landowners. Some work at the Jabalpur ordnance factory. They work in the agricultural fields of the Bania, Brahmin, Kayashta and Rajput for wages. Justice in society is looked after by a council of village elders. They are Hindus and worship national, village, family and clan gods. Many use family planning. Little progress has been made in education.
The Bhumia Scheduled Tribe who live in the Karaput region of Orissa have 2 subgroups: the Bada and the Sana. Every subgroup has clans like the Baga, Cheli, Naga and Surya. They speak and write in Oriyan. Some of them own lands and work in cultivating. Other occupations are agriculture work and collecting forest products. They believe in parts of the Hindu religion and also have traditional beliefs. Some have grocery shops. There are not too many who are literate among them.
Singh, K. S., ed. "India's Communities A-Z", Oxford University Press, USA 1999
|Profile Source: Anonymous|