Wednesday, November 7, 2018

6 MOST AMAZING! Things [step-by-step] about the RABHA TRIBE

The Amazing Rabha tribe

You probably are looking for some information about the Rabha tribe.

……….If you really are then this post will be proven as good for you.

Because, exactly the same thing here I am going to share with you in this post:

“6 MOST AMAZING! Things [step-by-step] about the RABHA TRIBE”

1. History
2. Food
3. Language
4. Festivals
5. Dress   
6. Population    

Rabha tribe Baikho festival, Rabha dress image


The very first point in the history of Rabha is that they belong to the Mongolian ethnic group…….

……and are highly been living in the states like West Bengal, Meghalaya and Assam since a very long time.

According to a case study of Prof. Bipul Mandal and Prof. Manadev Roy there are 70% of whole India’s Rabha people lives in West Bengal’s Jalpaiguri area.

In Assam they are mostly founded in Kamrup and Goalpara district and North Cachar hilly areas.

Do you know, with which community people they have a lot of similarities?

Yes, its Koch community.

Even they themselves assert some connection’s historically with Koach Kingdom.

(Many scholars also say that Rabha community is a brunch of the great Bodo family).

Now let’s drive into some other main historical points of Rabha’s……………………. 

  • Rabha people has been depending upon agriculture and fishing. Generally they use the shifting method (or Jhum method) in their agricultural activities.
  • 2nd point is before a long time in history these people believed in Animism. But later on they changed this trend and converted themselves into Hinduism.
  • Rabha societies were especially Matriarchal. Instead of men, their women played the main role in their society and family.
  • Historically they have some very close similarities with some other Mongolian groups like Koch, Hajong, Garo and Mech etc.

Now, let’s go to the point 2nd ……….

2. Food

Food is one of the best methods to describe a culture and the people related with it.

Is it true? Yes, of course it is!

Rabha tribe traditional food is also their identity to be recognized.

There are some very common and some are very unique food’s eaten by this tribal community.

Here are some awesome examples of their food list: - Boka or Rice beer, Pork meat, water striders, Pupa of insects or Silk worm, Red ants, Giant water Bugs, Termite and Larva’s etc.

These foods are very unique but must be admitted (if you taste these ever) that these are very tastier too.

Point number 3rd ……………………….

3. Language

Basically Rabha language is born from Sino-Tibetan language family (Koch subgroup of Bodo-Koch division). 

This has two Major dialects, one is Maituri and another is Rongdani.

This language existence among people is only in Oral form not in written form.

In Assam Because Of Assamese language domination most of Rabha people speaks in Assamese language instead of their own ‘Duwan’ (Oral language).

Now the time for the point 4th …………….

4. Festivals

If we talk about the festivals of Rabha people then it has only one synonym left for now a days and it is BAIKHO.

You may think what ‘BAIKHO’ festival……is………

Ok let me explain you……………..

……………actually Rabha people has their no central festivals, except BAIKHO. They celebrate this BAIKHO Puja during spring time as a sign of goodness wealth.

In their own language this festival is known as "Khoksi Puja".

Don’t you find it strange that the number of festivals celebrated by a different or a large community is so less?

And even in modern age they also are starting to lose their traditional BAIKHO festival gradually, which they had been celebrating since a very long time.

Now let’s go for the 5th ……………………..

5. Dress

The dress of Rabhatribe is another example of their identity.

These people start to learn conventional weaving from their very early age.

There are too many verities of dresses that Rabha men and women have. Here are the lists of their traditional weaving's:-

A. Men Weaving: - Khopon, Pasra, Buksil, Sengkanen and Pajal etc.

Khopon: - Khopon is a Turban, which is used to wear on the head.

Pasra: - Pasra is a type of Gamucha, Generally used by men.

Buksil: - Boksali or Buksil is a traditional hand weaving short cotton Shirt.

Sengkanen: - Sengkanen or fali is a cloth to weave on waist during working hour.

Pajal: - Pajal can be called a short dhoti, which is used to worn in the waist reaching up to the knee from the loins.

B. Women Weaving: - Khodabong, Kambung, Pajar and Riphan etc.

Khodabong: - As Rabha men’s dressed Khopon on their head, Rabha women also weave Khodabong on their head too.

Khodabong is Turban, especially designed with red and black color cloth mixture.

Kambung: - Kambung is a red cloth used to cover the chest upto the waist area.

Pajar: - Pajar is a cloth like a muffler, Designed beautifully with different colors (red, green etc).

Rabha women use it like a scarf and weave it on the left shoulder.

Riphan: - Riphan is a kind of cloth that is worn in the lower part of the waist. It is quite long because of which it covers the waist to the feet.

It has another name in Rabha tradition, which is called Rifan.

Designed with multi color and some graphics of flower, bird, river and animals etc.

6. Population

Rabha is a ST group of Assam and India. According to the census report of 2001, it was the 5th largest scheduled tribe community in Assam.

According to the report Rabha tribe total population was 2, 77,517; which was 8.4 percent of total ST population in the state.

Assam carries 12.4 of whole India’s Rabha population and here North Cachar hills area is the main point where 68.3% of Rabha people lives in.

As I mentioned you above that 70% of whole India’s Rabha lives in West Bengal and 30 remained percent lives in Assam and Meghalaya state.  

Here Meghalaya is in 2nd position and Assam is in 3rd.

Did I miss anything?

Now, you tell me, what am I missing here?

If I do then please let me know by commenting or emailing,

And at last thank you for being with me.

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