Meet the Korvas
Have you heard about the parallel universe, it is something same as us, but they do not know us or anything that we do. That is exactly the same with these tribes, they live in our country, in our states even in our district, but they don’t know about this world, who is president, how burger tastes, which are our neighbor countries. These things are nothing to them, why? They are so beautiful that they conserve themselves, they protect their rituals. They are shy. They have their own world, but it is not simple as it seems.
Mentioned in the list of special tribe community in Indian constitutions. As each tribe has their own individuality and uniqueness, Korvas have too, they have two genus one is Pahadi Korva who live in the hills, and another dihadi curve who lives in plains’, I met pahadies shy and conservative. Like other tribes they too love adornment, uses varieties of ornaments, on nose, ear, arms and waist. The cloths they wore or just a single piece of sari curl around the whole body, few prefer full Indian traditional saris. But mostly they keep themselves a bit open. Male keep dhotis, but nowadays they buy T-shirts from local weekend market.
They worship to certain gods, like Khudia rani and lord Shiva. Mysterious Khudia Rani is associated with Hindu goddess, but that is not written anywhere, It was written in some books that they make marks on their body with hot iron named Darha, but i haven’t seen any marks on their body. They also have some unique marriage traditions and fascinating dance styles known as Damnach, it is known to be the most expressive dance style, it cannot be explained in a few phrases. Their rituals in each stage of life make them distinct, and it has been carried for hundred of years, death ceremony is quite complex, I don’t have a clue about that, of course they won’t invite me when someone dies.
Their skin color dark and unlike other tribes they do not practice Godna (tattoo). For other tribes Godna is medium to heaven, they cover their whole body, even their faces with tattoos, there are many myths, some use it as an ornament and some want intentionally to be ugly, to not to be influenced by the evil eyes of humans.
Reaching to Korvas is quite tough, they live in small communities, in north Chhattisgarh, Korba, Jashpur, Bilaspur. I arrived Machadoli, crossing Minimata Bango dam, up in the hills, so I take a small road that lazily sauntered beyond the peak of the hill, got a small village, only 8 families stay here. Houses are made of soil, replete with textures, the houses were completely dark inside and small garden on the other side of the house, on the middle of the road some goats were relaxed, in the few minutes i saw children, some were shirtless and some having a loose shirt of their fathers. Seldom, a stranger wanted to see them, their eyes were in hesitation and it turned into happiness, when I offered them biscuits.
Korvas are very simple and they have very less desires, only a house and food, they are totally depending on government even for a small need. Like food, water, house, education. The only reason for their survival is rice, which they get from govt schemes, for only 1 Rs. /Kg and vegetables they collect from forests. Even their one room soil Houses are built by government schemes, they get the loan once in a decade. And they suffer if any calamities happen to them. Life is quite tough here, they have no electricity, no water resources, and no pillows to sleep comfortably. Even a tiny task is a big fight for them. For water, they travel two miles, for a piece of cloth, they travel 10 miles.
I think curves are the most beautiful. But this beauty is not a use of them. As these Children grow up, they leave their homes to earn, in specific seasons, they already have left their school at 5th Standard, so they are free to earn, but they earn very handful, through fishing, pot making, baskets made up of thin strips of cane and labor work in a local region, these earning is not even sufficient to buy clothes, you may not believe they hardly earn 500 Rs. In a month.
Korvas live in the northern part of Chhattisgarh, you have to contact the nearest janpad Panchayats or Jila Panchayats to know their locations.
It is not only the story of Machadoli Korvas, there are many tribes, fighting for their existence. We cannot imagine how incapable they are, they just need hand of help. If you are reading this, try to help them, by interacting, teaching, donating, funding or even by thinking how their minor problems can be solved. And to preserve their raw beauty in India
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