Weapons Of Odisha Tribals

Weapons are the instruments used either for offence or defence purpose. Iron knife, spear, bent bladed cutting tool, knife, battle axe, iron shield are some of the major weapons. Tribal people use various weapons for hunting and self protection.

Let’s know about some tribal weapons and instruments.

Unsuk- The Bondas of Odisha use different kinds of weapons for offence and defence.Unsuk is a sort of knife. It’s a long knife used by the Bonda tribe. It is usually made of iron and aluminium. It is a very sharp weapon which has a long, sharp and pointed iron blade and has a curved aluminium handle. Local blacksmiths in the Bonda tribe make it. Bonda people use this Unsuk as a defence weapon.This weapon is also used for cutting vegetables, dressing the meat of animals like boar, goats and others.This long knife is one of the elements which has cultural importance in the Bonda Tribe.

Simne- Dongria Kandhas of Odisha use this defence weapon. This is an axe which is called as Simne by the locals in the Dongria Kandha Tribe.It is usually made of brass and wood. The sharp part of the weapon is made of brass which sometimes has artworks carved on it. The handle of the axe is made of wood. This weapon is used for sacrifice rituals.It is used to sacrifice Kudru or buffaloes. It is also used to sacrifice goats in rituals.This axe is usually kept in Sadar Ghana or the Kudi in the village of Dongria Kandhas. It is taken out only during special Pujas or sacrifice rituals.During a festival called Meriah, the Dongrias sing and dance holding this axe.

Batibilu- Kutia Kandhas of Kandhamal district of Odisha use this handmade weapon. Batibilu is a sort of catapult. This weapon is made up of bamboo and siali fiber. It is usually used for hunting birds in the forest. The bird hunters use balls made of mud to use with Batibilu. The mud ball is pulled with the siali fibre string and focused on the target or the bird.

Dui Mundia Pharsa- Lanjia Saoras use this weapon.It is a type of axe made of iron and wood. The double end sharp portion is made of iron and the handle of the weapon is made of wood. This weapon was used by the Lanjia Saoras to counter elephant attacks to protect their territories. The attacks were made by Britishers or Rulers. The axe was used to hurt the elephant’s trunk and it helped the Lanjia Saoras to repel the elephants.The axe has religious significance for the Lanjia Saora community.Dui Mundia Pharsa are now preserved by the Gamanga or the village chiefs of the village and is rarely used.Dui Mundia Pharsa is sometimes used for hunting bears.

- Oraons of the Sundargarh district of Odisha usually use this weapon. Balam is a type of spear made of iron. This weapon is made by the iron smiths. This weapon is a sharp edged weapon used for hunting and also for defence. It is used as missile for hunting big wild animals like boars. It is used by the Oraons for daily use.This spear is designed to pierce skin and remain inside. It has small projections to ensure the weapon remains embedded in the body of the hunted animal.

Meriah Kati- Kandhas of Kandhamal and Rayagada district of Odisha use this weapon. This is type of knife locally called as Meriah Kati. This big knife is made up of iron and wood. The the sharp portion of the weapon is made of iron. The handle on which the sharp metal piece is fitted is made of wood. This weapon is used in the sacrificial festival called Meriah Festival to sacrifice animal.

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