Today's episode is a sneak peak into the intriguing world of Chhattisgarh's most iconic tribe, the Dandami Maria. They are a prominent tribe settled across the districts of Bastar, Narayanpur and Dantewada in Chhattisgarh. Due to the distinctive ceremonial headgear worn by the menfolk, they are also known as the Bison Horn Maria tribe. They have a very unique culture in which song and dance play a significant role. We got to explore their world with the help of this amazing sustainable ecotourism travel company from the region named Unexplored Bastar. Founded by Jeet Arya, Unexplored Bastar is travel organization to reckon with if you are willing to explore the region in its raw glory. Jeet and Luzina had accompanied us on this trip.
The experience was based in the village of Aanjar in Bastar. It was a calm and serene place portraying the elements of a remote village life. On reaching there we received a warm reception from our host. On one end of their courtyard country chicken curry was being prepared while on the other end a jackfruit dish was underway. While the meal got cooked, we went out for a quick tour of the village. During this tour, we learnt so much about the daily way of life and socio-cultural aspect of the Maria tribe.
After returning, we sat down to partake the soulful and wholesome meal which included dal, rice, country chicken curry, jackfruit curry and yam curry. Eating it from a leaf bowl added a new dimension to the taste. Post meal it was the turn of Bison Horn Maria dance and song performance. The bold and colourful attire and the iconic bison horn headgear made this an incredible experience.