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Gotra or Totem System

Gotra or Totem system plays very important role in the social structure of Kurukhs(Oroans). Among the Oraons, the Gotra system is believed to directly relate to the Great Almighty Lord Dharmesh’s desire to keep the social structure of the tribe pious. Accordingly, the Gotra means that every single family in the Oraon tribe trace their roots to their ancestors’ respective families, each of these families further traced their roots to their unique Gotra. Each of these unique Gotra simply means that families belonging to the same Gotra do trace their roots to the same family of their unique Gotra. In other words these families are related in the manner equivalent to siblings, tracing back to same roots of single family. It is also believed that these auspicious living beings helped our ancestors’ families to come out of the difficult times and as a result the entire generations of the families of a certain Gotra are indebted to them, since time immemorial.

        The Kurukhs have large number of septs of the totemistic type, named after plants and animals. The Oraon families accorded a very high respectable position to the above mentioned living beings and non-living beings mentioned above. The hunting of these living beings or cutting of trees/plants are strictly prohibited among the people belonging to the respective Gotra. Members of any sept commonly abstain from killing or eating their sept totem. A man must not marry a member of his own sept nor a first cousin on the mother's side. It is believed that youngsters belonging to same Gotra are considered to be siblings; hence the marriage in the same Gotra was firmly avoided among the Oraon families. The names show that as usual with the tribes of this part of the country the law of endogamy is by no means strict. The tribe have also a large number of  exogamous septs of the totemistic type, named after plants and animals.

        According to the popular belief of Oroans, each of these Gotra/Totem has wonderful positive energy to help its family members in the time of need. Each of these Gotra has legendary story going back to the ancient times, where they had helped their families to overcome hard times. Majority of oraons write their septs.

List of totemistic names of Kurukhs:         

Sr.Nos

Gotras

Meaning

1

Kerketta

Quail bird, found among Munda and Karia tribes.
2

Xalxo

Shad fish
3 Xaxa Crow
4 Xess Paddy/Rice
5

Kujur

A climbing plant
6 Toppo Wood picker bird
7 Tirkey Name of  a bird or young mouse
8 Tigga Monkey or field rat
9

Minz

Eel
10 Ekka Tortois
11 Barla Exogamous sept, found in Mundas and Kharia tribes.
12 Barwa Wild hog.
13 Koiya Wild Dog
14 Lakra Tiger
15

Beck

Salt
16 Dhanwar/Dhangar Domestic Worker
17 Baghwar Tiger

Gotras may be wrong in spelling or  meaning. It may be also possible that some gotras are not found in Oroan Community. If someone find any, kindly intimate us  for correction. If anyone know more septs, he can send us to include into this list.

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18 Kachhap Tortois
19 Kindo Carp fish
20 Kispota Intestine of hog
21

Kanda

Sweet potato
22 Kokro Cock
23 Gaddi Deep
24 Khoya Wild dog, Jackal
25 Chermanko  An animal, Rate
26

Panna

Iron
27 Bakula Crane
28 Bara Banyan tree
29 Bando Fox
30 Bhagat Kurukh priest(Baigas)
31 Binko Star
32

Munjni

Creeper
33 Linda  Fish
34 Son Son river
35 Rawna Valture
36

Oroan

Cast name of Oroan
37

Ram

Lord Ram, Exogamous sept

38

Gidh

Valture Bird
39 Kannhar Valture Bird
40 Baxla Tank weed
41 Beshra  A name of  tree
42 Nikunj Exogamous sept
43 Beshra  Name of a bird
44 Devi Exogamous sept
45 Ckigalo Jackal
46 Hartu The Haluman ape
47 Orgoda hawk
48 Chelekchela Swallow
49 Dhechua Swallow-tailed bird
50 Chitkha Ficus religiosa
51 Amdi Rice-water
52 Madgi Mahua
53 Kiss  khochol Lit, hog bone, a thorny tree
54 Garwa Bird(Saras)
55 Godo Name of a water creature.
56 Kuhu Cockoo
57 Oregora Kite
58 Kinda Coconut
59 Gadi Monkey
60 Gende Duck
61 Godo Crocodile
62 Chidra Squirrel
63 Jubbi Source of water
64 Pusra Kusum tree
65 Argo Mouse

 

It has been seen, that those who follow Tana Bhagat principle or Sarna Dharma write Bhagat in place of their gotra. Some of them prefer to write Oraon as second name in place of their gotra. In Chhattisgarh some Oroans write Say, Nikunj, Ram and Devi after their names.