Parojas, one of the major tribes of Orissa
, are mostly Oriya
speaking tribes. They mainly inhabit in the districts of Koraput
. They are also found in small number in other districts such as Sundargarh
. Parojas bear many features in common with the neighbouring major tribes such as the Gond
, Kondh and Gabada.
The term ‘Paroja’ is believed to be derived from the Sanskrit word Praja which literally means ‘the common people’. In Oriya language the term Paroja denotes the tenant (peasant) or the Royat.
Parojas are mainly divided into two sections: Bada Paroja and Sana Paroja. The Bada Paroja seems to be more progressive and economically advanced than the Sana Paroja. Even though Parojas are simple, friendly and hospitable, they show various cultural differences when compared with other tribal communities. They have unique settlement pattern, dress and ornaments, economic life, beliefs and worships, manners, customs and folk traditions.
Parojas use simple type of agricultural implements for cultivation. Maize, minor millet, paddy, potato, wheat and sugar are the major crops grown by Parojas.
Parojas celebrate many festivals round the year amid much pomp and ceremony. Pus Parab (in January) and Chait Parab (in March-April) are the most significant and colourful festivals of the year.