A scheduled tribe of Odisha.
Location (Major) : Koraput, Malkangiri, Nowrangapur
Language : Gutob & Ollari (Austro -Asiatic & Dravidian)
Major Occupation : Shifting & Settled Cultivation, Forest Collection, Wage
The Gadaba is a colourful tribe of Koraput. The name ‘Gadaba’ seems to have been formed of ‘Gada+ba’ or ‘Gada+va’, the final syllable meaning ‘pertaining to or belonging to’. They are divided into four broad sections, such as, Bado Gadaba, Parenga, Olaro and Sano Gadaba. The Gadaba build their houses in two rows facing each other, with a broad gap left between them. The Gadaba build their houses in two rows facing each other, with a broad gap left between them. In Gadaba villages three types of houses are found. These are the Mahad dien, the Dondul Dien and the Chhendi Dien. The first two are rectangular and the third one is circular with a conical roof. Thakurani is their supreme village deity. Thakurani is represented by a stone and is offered sacrifices by disari. The shrine is called hundi. The Gadaba women are fond of wearing brass, aluminium and gold ornaments to adorn themselves. The women wear hand woven striped cloth called kerang. The men wear loincloth, the end flap hanging down in front. They are famous for their characteristic dhemsa dance. The Gadaba prefer adult marriage and have the custom of bride price. Monogamy is the rule although in some cases polygyny is practised. In every three to five years the Gadaba observe gottar, the secondary burial ritual at the village level. In every Gadaba village the traditional council is headed by naik. The headman is assisted by a challan and a messenger called barik. The village priest, disari performs all religious rites. He also acts as a medicineman-cum-Austro loger.