The tribes of Goa
Goa is the most exotic and happening place in India. The sandy beaches, the music, the festivals all attract people from all over the world to come and visit this part of India. The people here are also quite hospitable and inviting. The Goan population is diverse in culture and this gives Goa its distinct flavour. It includes the descendants of various tribes which flourish even today.
The main tribes of Goa are-
These tribes although very much in contact with the new world do take steps towards development and prosperity but at the same time manage to keep intact their traditions and their roots.
The Gowdas are the highest populated tribe in Goa. They inhabit the interior regions of the Goan villages. Most of the Gowdas are farmers and are quite hard working. The Gowdas are mainly Hindus and are ardent devotees of Lord Malikkarjun a form of Lord Siva. However when the Portuguese forced them to convert to Christianity, the Gowda tribe was split into three sects according to the religious belief. There is also no information on the migration of Gowdas and it is still a mystery where they migrated from.
The Gowdas are very strict about marriage and preserving their bloodlines. It is not allowed to marry outside the community and they have laid down laws for safeguarding their blood lines. Gowdas permit cross cousin marriages between parental and maternal cousins.
The Gowdas although Hindu don't cremate their dead the same manner as the Hindus cremate. They bury their dead instead.
The Gowdas are quite liberal about Women's right and the women in the Gowda tribe are allowed to take part in social and economical activities of the community. They are allowed to work in the fields along with the men. Also the Gowda laws permit women to inherit her husband's property on his death.
Another major tribe of Goa is the Kunbi tribe.
The Kunbis are believed to be the oldest and the original tribe of Goa. They are perceived as mild mannered and industrious people. They were initially Hindus but after the Portuguese forced them to convert, they fully turned into Christians. This tribe mainly inhabits the Salcette taluka of Goa. The Kunbis are very social people and perform various festivals. The Kunbi dance is quite famous in Goa.
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