The Murias, a native tribe of Chhattisgarh, live in the north-central part of Bastar district, north of the Indravati River. Living deep in the heartland of Bastar, Murias are economically homogenous and keep a collective approach towards life.

The Murias are traditionally animists. As far as religious and social beliefs are concerned, the Murias have several totems and several gods of villages and tribal sub-groups. They are superstitious and believe in sorcery. They are not allowed to eat their totem animal and must mourn even if one of them dies.

The Muria Tribe Of Chhattisgarh

The Murias have progressive perspective towards marriage and life as a whole. The biggest example being the Ghotul (a commune or dormitory), which is basically a large Hut bordered by wooden or earthen walls. The Muria embrace sexuality from a young age. Youths are sent for mixed-sex to ghotul, where they live in close quarters and are expected to engage in sexual activities. A mandatory rule at a Ghotul is the girl’s consent. If the girl refuses, the boy cannot force or coerce her in any way resulting in zero sex related crimes. This shows the progressive perspective of this tribe.

There are a variety of Muria dance, like the Hulki, the Har Endanna, the Karsana etc. The dances are performed for fun and enjoyment. The dance steps are quick and vibrant which adds an element of rhythm to the whole form.

The Murias used to paint with minimal patterns using dots of white and red clay for adornment of Ghotul. But afterwards some painters started painting which depicted their life, traditions, and dance forms. Mehru Muria is a famous name in the field of Muria paintings.

With the advent of education and new ideas entering the traditional life of the Murias the community is scared of changes. But we can’t deny their Ghotul ritual which remains to be a progressive act in a regressive society.