Introduction / History
The Parhaiya are a Scheduled Tribe living in the state of Bihar in India. Most of them live in regions such as Gumala, Gaya, Hazaribagh and Palamau. They live with other tribes getting on well with them and they do not live in separate villages.
The Parhaiya believe in monogamy regarding marriage although bigamy is allowed. Premarital relations is not allowed in the group. Marriage can take place between males and females of two lineages but is usually not allowed. They believe in village exogamy, meaning they choose marriage partners from villages other than their own. They pay a price to the bride and have the agreement of the parents of the bride and groom. There are occasions when marriage is done by exchange, elopement and love.
The birth of a baby is looked on as being very happy by the Parahaiya as it prevents the worry of not being able to have children. It builds the position of the husband and wife as parents.
The main work of the Parhaiya is cultivating. Many live on the produce that they gather from the forests. The women especially weave quality clothes and baskets. The Parhaiya are very religious and believe in gods and goddesses. Many worship ancestral spirits.
For judicial administration they have the Panchayat system. The village leader called the Mahato is prominent with the leading of the system. His assistant is called Khato and there are members from all the people of the Parhaiya family.
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