Orissa has almost 36% of its landmass covered under forest. The dwellers of these forest are the oldest inhabitants of the region. Historically and culturally they have contributed greatly to the evolution of Orissa. Their culture and tradition find echo in various festivals that are being celebrated by people of the lower lands of Orissa. Festivals like Nua Khai or Nabanna has got embedded in the cultural life of the people were originally tribal festivals. Similarly the origin of Lord Jagannath,the presiding deity of Orissa and other important deities like Maa Tarini and Maa Samlei can be directly traced to tribal customs.
Even today the forest dweller or the tribal community of Orissa form around 24% of the entire population of the state.Orissa boasts of the maximum number of tribe that are found in the country.What is noteworthy about the tribal of Orissa is that one can still find the tribal culture in its unalloyed form on many of the tribes like Bonda and Juang.The 62 odd varieties of Orissa tribal follow their own lifestyle and have their own customs and rituals that they strictly adhere to.
Presented in this section are details of various tribes of Orissa, their economy, lifestyle,religios beliefs and social ceremonies. Please click on the links below to browse through the pages of this section and know more about the tribal of Orissa.