Chhattisgarh, a state with a wide range of traditional art and crafts, rich in culture, and also a hub of literature, is located beautifully at the heart of India. With the upcoming trend of modern art & craft, Chhattisgarh is still shining with its rich cultural heritage and expressing itself through its literature.
Including Gond (one of the largest tribes of CG), Bhunjia, Baiga, Halba, Bisonhorn Maria, Parghi, Muria, Bhatra, Parja, Dhurvaa, Binjwar, Dorla, Dhanwar, Kol, Rajgond, Kawar, Bhaiyana, Savra, Korwa, Bhayna, Munda, Manji, Kamar, and Abujmaria are some of the major tribes of Chhattisgarh.
A lot of stories and facts are available for the social issues and difficulties, which are faced by the tribals, such as ‘Jarnail Singh’ ‘Unch Neech’ written by Khub Chand Baghel. Also, Habib Tanvir, born in Chhattisgarh was one of the most popular Indian writers, theatre director & poet as well. Charandas Chor, Agra Bazar, Gaon ka Naam Sasural, Mor Naam Damad, Kamdeo ka Apna Basant Ritu ka Sapna and Nacha, are some of his famous works.
Dr. Verrier Elwin was a tribal activist, best known for his early work with the Gonds and Baigas. Some of his prominent works are – Songs of the Forest: the folk poetry of the Gonds, The Agaria, Folk Songs of the Maikal Hills, Folk-songs of Chhattisgarh, The Muria and their Ghotul, Maria Murder, and Suicide, Leaves from the Jungle: life in a Gond Village, and The Baiga.
Tribal’s main source of entertainment is their own folk songs and dance. Pandavani (songs of Pandavas) is performed largely in Chhattisgarh, which tells the story of the Pandavas. Teejan Bai is one of the most renowned singers of Pandvani, at present. Chandaini Gonda is another prominent performing art in Chhattisgarh, which is mainly performed in the district of Dantewada.
Chhatisgarh state has a variety of folk songs like – Sua songs; popular in Bilaspur & Dantewada, which strike a magical spark in the audience with their unique dance steps, Karma’s form of dance is performed by Gonds, Baigas, and Oraons, Cher Chera songs are there to celebrate the growth of crops, Sohar songs are sung after the birth of a child in Chhattisgarh, Khuduwa songs play an important role in the personality development of the child, Goura songs are folk devotional songs, sung in praise of the gods and goddesses of their region, Sawnahi songs are sung during the rainy season, especially during the first rain of the season, Dewar songs represent the tribal culture and are sung for the refreshment of mood, with joy and happiness.
Tribal literature is playing a vital role to protect the Tribal identity and existence of the tribes of Chhattisgarh. It expresses their lifestyle, religious practices, and beliefs very well. Writers of the state are playing a firm role in it.