Orissa serves as the coastal passage between the northern and southern parts of India. It is because of this geographical location that the people belonging to both Aryan race and the Dravidian race make up the population of the state. Other racial influences also seem to have enriched the culture of its people. Even today, Oriya people have maintained the age-old traditional values in their lifestyle. Since prehistoric times, Orissa has been inhabited by several tribal people. Infact, it is an assemblage of nearly 62 distinctive tribal groups.
They have made the wooded vicinity and forested hills of the state as
their home. Some of these tribal people can also be seen residing along
the countryside of Orissa. The more commonly known tribes of the state
consist of Saora and Sabar. Most of the tribal people out here follow
the customs and traditions of Hindus. This is because of the reason that
Hinduism has spread its influence all over the state. The best example
of such tribes is that of Bonda Parajas of Koraput district.
Out of all the tribes living in Orissa, the most ethnic ones are those
of the Kondhas and the Souras/Lanjia Souras. Kondhas comprise of the
primitive tribes of the state and can be found in its, almost, all the
districts. However, the places where they have highest concentration are
Rayagada, Kashipur, Kalyansinghpur, Bissamcuttack and Muniguda. Souras
tribes can be found occupying Gunupur, Padmapur and Gudari. Though some
of these tribes have started assimilating with other people, there are
some who still retain their tribal customs and traditions.