Ranked as a Scheduled Tribe in India, the Bedia tribe inhabits Madhya Pradesh and Bihar. Earlier, they were regarded as a 'warrior' group.
A series of military defeats in the earlier times forced them to resort to prostitution, hunting and illicit brewing. Initially they had a nomadic style of life. They were known to be skilled in the folk arts of dance and music, rural acrobatics and black magic. It is believed that to a member of the warrior caste, robbery or prostitution is preferable to manual labor.
During the British colonial rule, the Bedias were branded a criminal tribe.
These people are notorious for their tradition of introducing girls into prostitution.
Marriage generally is not allowed for Bedia girls, especially within their community, although community marriages do occur sparingly. But once these marriages take place within their own community, Bedia girls are not permitted to dance or resort to prostitution.
In the Bedia tribe, it is the men who pay large dowry to marry a girl. They often seek brides from other communities.