Introduction / History
Orissa is one of the most beautiful regions of Eastern India, nestling on the shores of the Bay of Bengal. The main charm of the state lies in its exotic sandy beaches, plenteous wildlife, laid-back lifestyle and temples famous for their architectural splendour. The attractions of this state have yet to be fully explored. Another lure of Orissa lies in its tribal population consisting of more than 62 tribal communities. Geographically, the state encompasses the hilly terrain of the Eastern Ghats, where most tribes dwell, and a beautiful stretch of the Indo-Aryan coast where a more modern way of life is to be found. A blend of distinct civilisations with contrasting cultures, beautiful landscapes, beaches and rich wildlife, offers the best of India to its visitors.
The Gata are one among the many tribal communities in Orissa, concentrated mostly in the Koraput district. Agriculture is the main occupation of the Gata. They are a hard working community, cultivating the slopes of the mountains they live on. They also collect fruit and wood from the jungle and sell it in nearby markets. Drinking locally-made alcohol or home-brewed rice beer and dancing through the night are distinctive features of their cultural life. The generally timid Gata take pleasure in hunting animals and birds with the help of a bow and arrow. They lag behind many other tribes in the Koraput district with respect to education. There are many government schools and institutions in the region to promote education, but the Gata generally have not seen the need for education. Very often they migrate to other parts of the state in search of work, as educating their children is not important in their view.
They are animists by faith, with a small percentage following Hinduism. There are several Christian ministries working in their region. The Word of God is not available in the Gata language, but there is great need of it for the development of the Church among the Gata.