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Main Tribes : Gowda Tribe
Other Tribes : Kunbis, Velips & Dhangars
Chief Deity : Malikkarjun, an avatar of Lord Shiva.
The History of Goa not only bears the mark of Portuguese conquest but in ancient times it was invaded by Aryans and Dravidians as well. Even after so many invasions, some of the original tribes of Konkan region have survived and still exist in the land of Goa.
The tribal society in Goa comprises several tribal people. But there are basically four Tribes in Goa. They are:
The tribal people of Goa have retained their traditional lifestyle which is reflected by their customs, rituals and food habit. Despite being aware of the development of the outside world, the people of Goan tribal society prefers to stick on to their roots even today.
Gowda Tribe :
This is the major tribe among all the Tribes in Goa and they dwell in deep interiors of Goan villages. So far, no record of migration of this tribe to Goa has been found. The tribal people of this clan follow Hindu religion and their chief deity is Lord Mallikarjun, which is an incarnation of Lord Shiva. Although they follow Hindu religion, they conduct burial of the dead ones, which is contradictory in this religion. The Gowda tribe is very strict in guarding their ethnicity and blood lines. This feature of Gowda tribe is attributed by their practice of endogamy, i.e., not marrying outside Gowda tribe. People of this clan are allowed to tie knot between cousin brothers and sisters.
During the reign of Portuguese, Gowdas were asked to get converted into Christianity. During this time the tribe was divided into three different groups.
The Gowda women are vested with lots of rights and enjoy high status in Gowda society. The women are allowed to work on fields and also participate in the economic development of the society. Women of this tribe are allowed to inherit their husband’s property upon his death.
Kunbis Tribe :
This tribe is also an original tribe of Goa like Gowdas and they reside mostly in Salcete taluka. The people of this tribe are well known for their clement nature and they work hard to earn their living. The members of Kunbis tribe initially followed Hindu religion until they were converted into Christians during the Portuguese rule. The folk dance and music of this tribe is famous in Goa.
This tribe is very scanty in number making around few thousands. Velips are also original inhabitants of Goa. The members of this tribe are mostly found in the remote rural areas within the forests. Their dwellings are found in forest fringed areas of, Canacona ,Sanguem and Quepem, which are sub-districts of south Goa.
The members of this tribe are purely shepherd and they have emerged from the lands of Gujarat. They migrated from Gujrat to settle down at the hilly northwestern parts of Goa. The people belonging to this tribe are very pious and engage themselves in worshipping their God named ‘Bira Deva’. The festivals and rituals surrounding their dirty are highly colorful. The Dhangars have their unique way of dancing which involves simple footwork on slow beats of Dhol and Cymbals. The ancestral lineage of this tribe is marked by the turban and Kathiawari-styled white dress they put on during this performance.
Goa is a calm place which always welcomes tourists with its extravagant beaches lining its shores. The reflection of the Goan beaches are found in Goan people also as they are highly benign and hospitable. Make a trip to Goa and feel the clement weather and people of this place.