Kandhas (spelt as Kond,Khond and Kandha) is a primitive tribal group, found in the states of Orissa
, Andhra Pradesh
, West Bengal
and Madhya Pradesh
. They were originally hill-dwellers. The word Kandha derived from a
word 'Konda' means a hill. Kandhas are classified into three groups namely Kutia, Malua (Dongoria) and Desia. There are 58 subdivisions of Kandhas and they speak a dialect known as Kui.
Their houses are made of wooden walls (planks) and bamboo splits with a thatching of forest grass and leaves. Agriculture is their occupation and they practice shift cultivation.
They are experts in Dokra art, Terracotta art, Cane and bamboo craft, stone craft, weaving, lacquer and wooden comb and applique works.
Dhangeda-Dhangedi, Krahenda, Singha Badya and Danda Nata are the main dance forms of Kandhas. The important observances are Mati Puja, Kandula Jatra, Chaitra Parab,Dashera Puja and Lakshmi Puja. The 'meriah' or 'kedu' is a famous festival celebrated by these tribes in February - March.