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April 23, 2016

THE BONDA PEOPLE OF ODISHA, INDIA

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

 

The Bonda people are a tribal people who currently live in the hills of Odisha’s Malkangiri district in India. There are two different Bonda tribes: the Upper Bondas with a population of 6,700 who are the most isolated from mainstream Indian society, and the Lower Bonda with a population of 17,000. Upper Bondas have almost no connection to the outside world. Dambaru Sisha took the oath of office to become the first MLA to the Bonda tribe, to which he traces his ancestry. Sisha attempts to protect the traditions and culture of the people while providing them with educational opportunities. Only 6% of Bondas are literate. The life expectancy of the tribe is so low they are nearly extinct.

 

The unfree labour or Goti system in India is known as Gufam by the Bonda people. According to Pati, a male bonded labour is called Gufam-Rem whereas a female laborer is a Gufam-Boy. Bonda people are often led to bonded labour through m...

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