Introduction / History
The Parja are thought to be from the Ghond tribes and are mostly in the Central province(s) of India. The name Parja comes from the Sanskrit language. In parts of the Bastar region they are called Dhurwa which means a headman. The Parja are cultivators and mostly grow rice. They are said to be hard working.
The Parja are divided into three, the Mudara, the Peng and the Tagara. The Tagara (or Thakara) live in the Bastar region.
What are Their Lives Like?
The Parja are exogamous. If someone accidentally kills an animal after which his clan has been named, many rituals are performed for purification. For example all utensils in the house are got rid of, clothes are washed and the whole house is purified with the bark of a mango or jamun tree soaked in water. This is a ritual of mourning. If someone in the goat Sept eats a goat then it is thought he will go blind. If anyone kills a snake who belongs to the snake Sept, he puts a new yarn on his head and prays for forgiveness. (They need to realize what are and what are not sins and that forgiveness is only through Jesus Christ).
The Parja are mainly Hindus and have local religious beliefs. Marriage is not supposed to be with the people of the same clan but as their Septs are small in number, that rule is not followed but they are not to come from the same village. The marriage proposal is first made by the father of the boy. The girl is told about it. They dance during the wedding ceremonies. The marriage ceremony is in the house of the boy. Widows can marry again but must marry the younger brother of the deceased husband. The Parja bury their dead. They do quite a few funeral rites. They eat pigs, wild buffalo, monkeys and fowls but not flesh eating animals.
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