Art & Culture
Up to Nal dynasty the peoples were divided into four different classes named Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shoodra.
But after the downfall of Nal dynasty a lot of people came from outside and also the main casts divided into sub casts. There were around 62 casts in Bastar and Kanker states. In tribes Maria, Muria, Bhatra, Parja, Gadva, Halba, Ganda, Mahra, Chandal, Ghuruva, Dom, Lohar, Matrigond, Rajgond, Dorla, Nahar, Naikpod, Kuduk, Andkuri, Kumhar, Kosta, Chamar, Kenvat, Dhakad, were important and in other casts Brahmin, Vaishya, Kayasth, Teli, Kalar, Kshtriya, Kunbi, Dhobi, Marathi, Mohammedan, Pathan, Telanga, Orria and Rohilla etc were important. currently in Kanker district Around 50 percent of total population is tribal. so the most of the culture of kanker district is tribal dominant. Although in this modern era the culture has slightly changed.
In all casts people lived as a joint family. All the families were male dominant. The oldest person was head of the family and all other members used to obey his orders. The oldest person of the family had full authority of all financial matters. All sons had same share in total financial balance but daughters had no share. In tribes there is a important role of women.
The main languages used in this district are Hindi, Chhattisgarhi, Gondi and Halbi. In the state time the Halbi was an important language and all the work of administration done in Halbi language. Halbi is a compound form of Hindi. Bhatri is the main branch of Halbi language. In halbi and Bhatri languages there are 9 vowels and 28 consonants. There are a lot of words taken in this language from other languages like Sanskrit, Hindi, Arabic, Pharsi etc. In halbi bhatri languages have proper noun, abstract noun, collective noun, material noun etc like other developed languages. Like Hindi, Halbi has also two genders masculine and feminine, but the feminine is more used. the other languages like Bengla, telugu and oriya are also popular in the district because people of these languages are also lived in different part of the kanker diastrict.
Customs at death
In all tribes the customs of death are so much complcated. In maria they bury the dead bodies. Suppose any lady get die during her pregnancy then her body is mourned. Suppose any child who is younger than 5 years then his body is also mourned beneath of Mahua tree and his head placed toward east direction. They constructed a little tomb on that place in memories of dead person. The Gonds placed the legs towards south in mourning. On the death of any wealthy or old person the people kill any cow or bull and cut their tail and this tail is kept in the hand of dead body before mourning. In some tribes they placed some wooden poll in memories of dead person.
In tribes of Kanker and Baster There is a important festival celebrated called Madai. In Bastar Region the celebration of festival starts from december. On Poornima the Madai festival celebrates in respect of the goddess Kesharpal Kesharpalin Devi. In january the people of Kanker, Charama and Kurna celebrate the Madai festival. In the month of February the festival again goes to Bastar district and their the festival celebrated in the respect of Cheri-Chher-Kin. In the ending of February the Madi festival goes to Antagarh, Narayanpur and Bhanupratappur and in the month of March it goes to Kondagaon, Keshkal and bhopalpattanam. This festival is a moving festival and moves throughout the Kanker, Bastar and Dantewada regions from December to march. The festival celebrated in the respect of local God and Goddess. This festival is celebrated in a big ground where thousand of peoples can go simultaneously. In starting tribes arranged a procession of local God or Goddess after that the worship is done and then the festival starts. A lot of shops, Restaurant, crafts, dances and other cultural program can be seen in this festival. Outsider people comes to that place and enjoy in the festival. Although the festival is of tribes but all the communities have faith, celebrate and enjoy the festival. In other festivals Mati-tihar, Gobar-boharani, Ramnavmi, Navakhani are important. Dusshera, Diwali, Holi are celebrated as usual like the other parts of India.
The tribal society of Kanker is famous for their excellency in making exotic handicrafts with a variety of designs and shapes. These handicrafts include wood-carvings, bell-metal items, terracota items, bamboo items etc. Kanker, Being a forestry district containing good qualities of woods from which very attractive wooden-carving crafts and various types of furniture are being made by the skilled hands. These items attract locals as well as outsiders.
This is one of the most famous, beautiful and unique art of wooden carving of tribes. These wooden crafts are made out of the finest teal wood and white wood. These wooden crafts include models, idols, wall panels and furniture items etc. These handicrafts are generally exported to different places of the country and it has demand even from foreign countries also.