Research Project undertaken by Dr.Seema Ramdas Chaware
The Cultural, Literary Study of Bhoi Community in Yavatmal District
Duration – 1-6-2011 to 20-2-2013
Yavatmal district is chiefly known as Adivasi Majority based district in Maharashtra. In all the directions these are hillysides, villages and rivers where Gond, Kolam, Pardhi, Halba, Kabar, Andh, Bhaina, Binzwar, Bhanvar, Birhul, Kol, and pardhan Reside. In forest occupied area, forest productions are taken on large quantity. Long years ago, Yavatmal happened to be the city of retired citizens as many of the retired people preferred to live here because of the moderate temperature and cold.
However, the situation is different today the temperature of Pusad like Tahsil goes upto 500 in summer. River like Vardha, Painganga, Bembla,Ramganga, Nirguda and Khuni are available and besides there are many dams still there is scarcity of water in summer. Yavatmal is regarded as suicide-stricken District now. Much of regions is Naxalite, Dry land is more in quantity than irrigated land. Due to excess of mountains and jungles, one can see forest animals in large quantity. They destroy the crops in harvesting period. The farmers have become helpless and restless on account of recurrent draughts and the loss of crops by forest animals. Above mentioned rivers are available in Yavatmal district. However including bigger, smaller and medium, there are ninety nine dams. The people use the water of dams like Arunavati, Pus, Bembla, Navargaon, Chapdoh, Adan, Adharpus, Borgaon, Vaghadi. Saykheda, Warud, Pimpalgaon, Shirajgaon and Jamnala for irrigation. Moreover, the people also run fish trade out of it. The Bhoi community run their fish trade where there are ample water resources. Fish farming is performed in some part of Vidharbha but the Bhoi community in Yavatmal district are unable to do it due to their low, economic status. Several times, the fish in reservoirs are sold on auction basis. The rich people increase the amount in auction. Consequently the Bhoi community lack behind. In fact, this is their ancestral business. They need to be promoted here. But this is not observed. Therefore they catch fish from various rivers ad sell in the evening for their livelihood. To store fish they don’t have refrigerators. So they have to sell fish for low cost in the late night. In summer the rivers shrink and there is low water. Therefore this affects their business. Sometimes ago, these people used to carry palanquin. These tasks are also not in practice today. In some places, the soil and sand are carried away by the donkeys. Some people sell soaked gram in the markets. However, in these changing scenario, all the works are on the verge of decline. Though Bhoi community falls under Nomadic Tribe category they have established themselves we can witness this particularly in Yavatmal district. there are plenty of sub-castes of Bhoi community in Yavatmal district they are Bendure, Bawane Zadi Bhoi, Gadhao (Donky) Bhoi and Bhoi. Everybody thinks different from each other. However these people have traditional cultural life. As they maintain maximum relations with Hindus, we can unknowingly visualize cultural medley. There was a time when bridegrooms father used to go it. brides father to ask her hand from arriage point of view. There was no scope for the opinion of bride and bridegroom. Now-a-days, their opinions are mandatory to be taken into considerations & due to spread of education. In totto, they follow Hindu culture around them. However, there have marriage rite where traditional dances are performed. Still, that is in progress. Bhoi community worship to Lord Shiva as their duty and they are highly attracted towards Shiva temple of Panchmadhi. In the market place of Yavatmal. There is temple of Macchindranath who is also are of their duties. Machhindranath and Gorakhnath belog to Nath-Sect. that is why Lord Shiva is their family God. At the time of marriage care many several types of songs are sung in Bhoi Community. The bride continuously sees the way of her brother who brings clothes (Aher) as a token of love. This expresses emotions of relations. There is also one sort of vesting between other-in-law, and father i n law of one’s son or daughter. Someone tells ridiculous stories.
Many of the folk songs are sung by women. In these folk songs, alongwith traditions one can also witness ancient spiritual references. Marriage and celebrations have become the part and parcel of their life. This celebrations is of multifarious attitude. Therefore, it seems ever fresh and now. It reveals sensibility, generosity, tolerance, indications, humility, moderate amorous sentiments and sometimes robust sentiments. Folk songs, sometimes, also expresses arrant sentiments.
In the creations of these folk songs, women have their Lion’s share. Be they showing amorous feeling or arrant one. They not only reveal the layers of literature but also various facts of life. Literature is reflection of their varied life.
Dr.Seema Ramdas Chaware