The Kutia Kondh is one of the many tribes living in Kalahandi, Odisha. They are a sub-section of a larger tribal group called Kondh, and are classified as a Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group (PVTG) by the Ministry of Home Affairs. Among Kondhs, those who live on the hills are called the Kutia Kondhs. The term ‘Kutia’ refers to the distinctive type of huts they traditionally live in.
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They practice shifting agriculture, also knows as ‘slash and burn’ agriculture and speak a variant of Kui, a Dravidian language primarily spoken by tribal groups here. People in this tribe have a rich history and culture shaped by their deep relationship with the natural environment around them. Hence, there’s also dependency on the forest for food and survival. Here, I show a typical village settlement of people belonging to the Kutia Kondh tribe.
They have a democratic and autonomous political organization, with village affairs usually handled by a council of elders. In recent years, like many indigenous groups, the Kutia Kondh have faced challenges due to rapid development, changing agricultural practices, and the encroachment of their lands.