One of then coastal states of India, Orissa is full of natural beauty and charm. Its pristine beaches, lush forests, exotic wildlife and magnificent monuments draw tourists from far and wide. Even the tribal people of Orissa, constituting of more than 62 tribes, have added to its attraction. Of these, the more significant ones include Saora (or Sabar) tribe, which finds a mention in the Hindu epic of Mahabharata also. The tribal communities of the state constitute about 23 percent of its total population.
They are found inhabiting mainly the high land territories. Though
clubbed together, these tribal communities can be easily distinguished
on the basis of different ethnic traits, culture, customs as well as
dominant languages. The most primitive tribes of Orissa comprise of the
Kondhas, Bondas, Gadabas and Koyas. Of these, Kondhas constitute of the
majority of the tribal population. They have the highest concentration
in the blocks of Rayagada, Kashipur, Kalyansinghpur, Bissamcuttack and
The Souras come second, as far as the proportion of their population is
concerned. People belonging to the Soura tribe can be easily
distinguished from the others, as they wear a loincloth hanging from
behind. They inhabit blocks of Gunupur, Padmapur and Gudari, with the
highest concentration found in the Puttasingi area. Souras living in
Rejingtal, Sagada and Puttasingi still retain their old tribal customs.
The other tribal communities, though negligible in number, also
contribute to the exotic intermingling culture of Orissa.