Birhor means jungle people - Bir means jungle, Hor means men. The Birhors are of short stature, long head, wavy hair and broad nose. They belong to the Proto-Australoid racial stock. According to the India census (2011) India consists of only 17,241 the Birhor tribal populations, which is only 0.01 percent of the total tribal population of India. This population data has proved populace scarcity of the Birhor tribe in India. Jharkhand has wrapped the foremost population (62.21 percent) of the total population of the Birhor tribe in India, which indicates that the origin of this tribe is Jharkhand. The “primitive subsistence economy” of the Birhors has been based on nomadic gathering and hunting, particularly for monkeys. They also trap rabbits and titirs (a small bird), and collect and sell honey. They make ropes out of the fibers of a particular species of vine, which they sell in the markets of the nearby agricultural people. Due to combined effect of changed circumstances and government policies, some of the Birhors have adopted settled agricultural economy in recent years, but inspite of that, their traditional tendency of leading nomadic life has not gone. According to the socio-economic standing the Birhors are classified into two groups. While the wandering Birhors are called Uthlus, the settled Birhors are called Janghis. The Birhor tribe has been facing culturisation and acculturisation problem as they live together with various tribal and non tribal communities. They are highly influenced with their culture and the Birhor had left their own cultural characteristics. Now the Birhor’s ethnic characteristics are vanishing as well as they are losing their identity. In the light of above, it is suggested that it is urgent need to document the ethnic characteristics of primitive tribe and to conserve their culture.
Cite this article:
Jitendra Kumar Premi. Birhor: The Inconsequential Extraordinary Primitive Tribal Group (PTG) of India. Research J. Humanities and Social Sciences. 5(4): October-December, 2014, 366-369.