Bihan Mela : Odisha
The members of the Kondh tribe in Odisha’s Nayagarh district celebrates Bihan Mela.
- Bihan Mela is known as the seed festival and the event is participated by the farmers.
- Preparations begin as soon as farmers have harvested Kharif crops, which include both hybrid and indigenous varieties of paddy, millets, maize and sorghum.
- Women are at the helm of this festival and carefully collect seeds of the indigenous varieties and store them in earthen pots.
- On a designated day in December, they decorate the pots with red and white motifs, place them in a bamboo basket and carry it on their head to the village where the fair is being organised.
- This was introduced to help farmers return to their traditional ways of farming like mixed cropping.
- Kondh tribe are a tribal group found in the hills and jungles of Orissa in eastern India.
- They have several sub-tribes, for instance, the Dongria, Kovi, Kuttia, Languli, Penga, and Jharnia. Raj Konds etc.
- These tribal people speak languages called Kui and Kuvi.
- These belong to the Dravidian language family and have strong similarities to Telugu, Tamil, and Kannada.
- The language has no script of its own, with the Oriya script used for writing Kui, and the Telugu script used for Kuvi.