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Warli tribe

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Introduction :

The name Warli has been derived from Warla', which means field or piece of land. Their main occupation is agriculture and allied activities.Varli tribes or Warlis are considered as anIndian Scheduled Tribe, residing mainly in the talukas ofNashik district,Thane district andDhule districtof Maharashtra. They are also found inValsad Districtof Gujarat, andIndian Union Territories-Daman and Diu andDadra and Nagar Haveli . They have their ownanimisticbeliefs, life, customs and traditions, as a result ofacculturationthey have adopted manyHindu beliefs. The Warlis speak an unwritten Varli language which belong to the southern zone of theIndo-Aryan languagesand theunion territoriesofDadra and Nagar HaveliandDaman and Diu.

Location Map and Population data of the Warli tribe :

Language :

Warli people speak an unwritten Warli language.Marathi, Gujarati, Sanskrit and an Indo-Aryan dialect (mixture of Khandeshi Bhili and Marathi) are the languages widely used by the Warlis for communication.


Dressing :

The attire worn by the women in this region is a Lugden that is worn till the knee and, it is normally a one yard sari. The sari is influenced from the Maharashtrian rural regions. The knee length draping looks similar to the Maharashtrian style of draping a sari. There are some women who drape a loin cloth around them after wearing this one yard sari. This loin cloth covers the upper half of their body. This Padar or loin cloth is a garment that is draped around on the opposite side of the Pallu thus covering the upper part of the body completely.The men wear a loin cloth, a waist coat and turban to represent their culture. The style is original, tribal and very simple in every way.

Festivals :

Warli tribal community celebrates the festival of lights,Diwaliwith great enthusiasm and they call it with the name Barash. Other festivals are there which this Warli tribe observes in great jubilance. Bhawada festival is also observed by these Warli tribes. They also celebrate Kali Puja after the season of harvesting of crops. Dhumsa Dance, Gauri Dance, Kambadu dance, Tarpa and Dhol Dance are some of the vibrant dance forms that flaunt their tradition.

Eating Habits :

The Warli are non-vegetarian. They eat the meat of deer, goat, wild rabbit, fowls, pigeons and peacocks, but the most favorite non-vegetarian dish is that of fish. Dry fish is mixed with dal (pulse) or vegetable and then eaten with rotlas (thick breads of nagli, wheat, jowar or rice). Staple food is nagli and rice. Rice is relished with chutney. Pulses of urad (green gram), tur (pigeon pea) and gram make a part of their diet. Rice-gruel is taken in the morning as breakfast. Wild roots of vora are eaten during the winter season, besides tubers, spinach and a number of leafy vegetables in their day to day intake. The Warli make use of palmoline and groundnut oils for preparation of food items. They brew liquor prepared from mahua and molasses for their own consumption and supply to others also. Seasonal fruits which they get from the forest are consumed occasionally. Using milk for preparation of tea is very limited due to non-availability of milk.

Marriage :

Marriage is the most important ceremony in their community. Age at marriage for the girls is fifteen to seventeen years and for boys from seventeen to nineteen years. Ceremony last for four to five days . Usually the Warli paintings are done during the marriage ceremony and they call them as Lagnacha chauk meaning marriage paintings. The painting is sacred and without it the marriage cannot take place.The symbols of a married woman are kali ganthi (black thread necklace) and application of kanku (vermilion) in the hair parting. The bride is given a set of new clothes and some ornaments in marriage.


Occupation practiced :

The Warli are now sending their children to schools, but rate of drop-outs is high. They discontinue their studies after primary, middle or higher-secondary education as the children have to contribute to family income.

They get drinking water from wells and hand pumps. The Warlis who live in the mixed villages and have been rehabilitated get some better facilities. They use cow dung, coal, and wood and kerosene oil as fuels for cooking food. The children get mid-day meals in the schools.

Occupation practiced cntd:

The anthropologists too have conducted innumerable surveys on the life of these Warli tribes. As a result they have been able to throw some light on the lifestyle, culture, tradition of this Warli tribal community. Following the tradition of most of the tribal communities of the country, these Warli tribes too have taken up the occupation of farming and cultivation. In fact these Varli tribes have been growing ample crops and other products and thus sustain their livelihood quite happily.