Baiga tribe

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Description:
Baiga is a tribe found in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand states of India. The largest number of Baigas is found in Baiga-chuk in Mandla district and Balaghat district of Madhya Pradesh. They have sub-castes – Bijhwar, Narotia, Bharotiya, Nahar, Rai Bhaina, and Kadh Bhaina. Their population as of Census 1981 was 248,949.

Genetics

A 2010 study by the Anthropological Survey of India and the Texas-based Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research identified seven genomes from 26 isolated "relic tribes" (sic) from the Indian mainland, Baiga being one of them, which share "two synonymous polymorphisms with the M42 haplogroup, which is specific to Australian Aborigines." These were specific mtDNA mutations that are shared exclusively by Australian aborigines and these Indian tribes, and no other known human groupings.

Practice of shifting cultivation

The Baiga tribes practice shifting cultivation in forest areas. They say they never ploughed the Earth, because it would be like scratching the breast of their Mother, and how could they possibly ask Mother to produce food from the same patch of earth time and time again – she would have become weakened. That’s why Baigas used to lived a semi-nomadic life, and practiced Bewar cultivation (slash & burn) – out of respect, not aggression. Until fairly recently the Baigas practiced 'dahiya' cultivation, that is, slash and......
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