Rathwa is a distinct tribe dwelling in the regions of Chhota Udaipur
, Naswadi, Jetpur
and Sankheda, in Gujarat
. The tribe is known for its Pithoro Paintings
and the Chuum Jhuum, a famous dance form. Dhebariya, Kohaliya, Moti Nat and Nan Nat are the major sub groups of Rathwas.
The tribe has distinct cultural heritage and unique historical background. They imitate upper class Tadagis with a common intermix of traditions and modern dress patterns. A mix of traditional and non-traditional culture can also be seen in their language.
Rathwas depend on the forest for agricultural land, wild animals for prey, and wood for fuel and house building. They are also engaged in the collection and gathering of forest products. For earning additional income, the tribes rear cows, buffaloes, bullocks, calves, goats and fowl.
The community members build their houses in fields or on hillocks. Tattooing is very common among the villagers. They follow arranged marriages and even clan exogamy is observed.
They believe in Hinduism and worship the deities of Vaghanio Dev, Bhapanio Dev, Dudhiya Dev, Khala Dev, and Japadia Dev. Holi and Kavant are the two important festivals celebrated by them.