Tribal Haats of Odisha


A ‘haat’ is a weekly village market. Around Jaypore, in the district of Koraput, from Monday to Friday, five haats operate at Chatikona, Ramgiri, Gupteswar, Onkadelli and Kundli. These places are about 60-70 kilometers away from the town of Jaypore and positively situated at the end of a road (Kundli is the only exception) beyond which all seems unknown. So, as far as infrastructure goes, these haats are extreme places where traders from town can just reach, and where the intended consumers feel at home on being surrounded by forest or by immense stretch of paddy. The area around each haat is populated mainly by one particular tribe and therefore offers their wares. In Chatikona, the Dongarias trade in earthen pots, at Ramgiri the Parajas deal in mats and livestock, in Gupteswar the Garabas are apt at exchanging their wicker baskets. Onkadelli is known worldwide as two almost extinct tribes, the Bondos and the Kutias, come here to sell metal ornaments and bead- necklaces. All draped in beads, with fat rings encircling the neck, and with strange ornaments hanging here and there, their presence is a visual treat.