Bodo people
The Bodos are an ethnic and linguistic community, early settlers of Assam
Assam , also, rarely, Assam Valley and formerly the Assam Province , is a northeastern state of India and is one of the most culturally and geographically distinct regions of the country...

 in the North-East
North-East India
Northeast India refers to the easternmost region of India consisting of the contiguous Seven Sister States, Sikkim, and parts of North Bengal...

 of India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

. According to the 1991 census, there were 1.2 million Bodos in Assam which makes for 5.3% of the total population in the state. Bodos belong to a larger ethnic group called the Bodo-Kachari
Bodo-Kachari is a generic term applied to a number of ethnic groups predominantly in Assam speaking Tibeto-Burman languages or claiming a common ancestry.-Origins:...

. The Bodos are recognized as a plains tribe in the Sixth Schedule of the Indian Constitution. Udalguri
Odalguri , , is a town and a town area committee and the headquarters of Udalguri district in the north-eastern Indian state of Assam. Earlier, Udalgiri was a sub-divisional headquarters in Darrang District...

 and Kokrajhar
Kokrajhar is a city in Bodoland Territorial Council, Assam, one of the North East States and territories of India.Kokrajhar city is located along the bank of Gourang River. The North East Indian Railways divides the city into two sides, north and the south...

 are considered the center of the Bodo area.

The Bodo-Kachari

The Bodos represent one of the largest of the 18 ethnic sub-groups within the Kachari group, first classified in the 19th century. Bodos have settled in most areas of North-East India
North-East India
Northeast India refers to the easternmost region of India consisting of the contiguous Seven Sister States, Sikkim, and parts of North Bengal...

, and parts of Nepal
Nepal , officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked sovereign state located in South Asia. It is located in the Himalayas and bordered to the north by the People's Republic of China, and to the south, east, and west by the Republic of India...

.The BODO People constitute a diverse range of the Indigenous people of North-east india .The overarching term "BODO" is a collective designation to include the peoples of the region who share some degree of cultural and linguistic heritage; however, the term embraces many distinct populations, societies, and ethnic groups like Dimasa kachari, sonowal kachari , Mech kachari , Rabha kachari , Thengal kachari etc who each have their own particular traditions, language ,cultures, and historical identity.The BODO word is nothing but merely a male Clan of Royal Dimasa Kachri Race. The first Raja of Dimasa Kachari kingdom was belongs to BODO Bodo never be a tribe. There is no history in the world that A clan of a tribe can become a community. If it is so then is a distortion of the History Among the 18 groups mentioned by Endle, the Mech
Mech tribe
Mech tribe is one of the scheduled tribes of India and belong to Bodo-Kachari group of tribes. They belong to Mongoloid race and speak mainly Bodo language, which is a Tibeto-Burman dialect but have got influenced by the Assamese language. The Mech people live in the Dooars region of West Bengal...

 in Western Assam, the Bodo in central Assam, the Sonowal and Thengal in the eastern part of the Brahmaputra river
Brahmaputra River
The Brahmaputra , also called Tsangpo-Brahmaputra, is a trans-boundary river and one of the major rivers of Asia. It is the only Indian river that is attributed the masculine gender and thus referred to as a in Indo-Aryan languages and languages with Indo-Aryan influence...

 are closely related. The others have been either Hinduized (e.g. Koch, Sarania), or have developed separate identities (e.g. Garo
Garo (tribe)
See also Garo for other uses.The Garos are a tribal people in Meghalaya, India and neighboring areas of Bangladesh, who call themselves A·chik Mande or simply A·chik or Mande...


The Bodos represent one of the largest ethnic and linguistic groups of the Brahmaputra valley. Typical Bodo last names (surname) are , Brahma, Boro, Basumatary, Dwimary, Swargiary, Goyary, Khakhlary, Mushahary, Narzary, Iswary,chamframary, hajowary. The 1971 census report indicated Bodos being the 8th largest scheduled-tribe (ST) group in India. Close to 1 million people speak Bodo language.

The Bodo language
Bodo language
Bodo is a language that belongs to the branch of Barish section under Baric division of the Tibeto-Burman languages and spoken by the Bodo people of north-eastern India and Nepal...

 is a member of the Tibeto-Burmese family. The Roman script and Assamese script
Assamese script
The Assamese script is a variant of the Eastern Nagari script also used for Bengali and Bishnupriya Manipuri. The Eastern Nagari script belongs to the Brahmic family of scripts and has a continuous history of development from Nagari script, a precursor of Devanagari...

 were used in the past. Recently, Bodos adopted the Devanagari
Devanagari |deva]]" and "nāgarī" ), also called Nagari , is an abugida alphabet of India and Nepal...

 script. According to some scholars, the Bodo language had a script of its own called Deodhai..

Very early on, Bodos may have introduced rice cultivation, tea plantation, pig and poultry farming, and silkworm rearing in the North East India. The traditional favourite drink of the Bodos is Zu Mai (Zu: wine
Wine is an alcoholic beverage, made of fermented fruit juice, usually from grapes. The natural chemical balance of grapes lets them ferment without the addition of sugars, acids, enzymes, or other nutrients. Grape wine is produced by fermenting crushed grapes using various types of yeast. Yeast...

; Mai: rice). Rice
Rice is the seed of the monocot plants Oryza sativa or Oryza glaberrima . As a cereal grain, it is the most important staple food for a large part of the world's human population, especially in East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, and the West Indies...

 is a staple of the Bodos and is often accompanied by a non vegetarian dish such as fish
Fish are a paraphyletic group of organisms that consist of all gill-bearing aquatic vertebrate animals that lack limbs with digits. Included in this definition are the living hagfish, lampreys, and cartilaginous and bony fish, as well as various extinct related groups...

 or pork
Pork is the culinary name for meat from the domestic pig , which is eaten in many countries. It is one of the most commonly consumed meats worldwide, with evidence of pig husbandry dating back to 5000 BC....

. Traditionally Bodos are non-vegetarians.

Weaving is another integral part of Bodo culture. Many families rear their own silkworms, the cocoons of which are then spun into silk
Silk is a natural protein fiber, some forms of which can be woven into textiles. The best-known type of silk is obtained from the cocoons of the larvae of the mulberry silkworm Bombyx mori reared in captivity...

. Bodo girls learn to weave from a young age, and no Bodo courtyard is complete without a loom
A loom is a device used to weave cloth. The basic purpose of any loom is to hold the warp threads under tension to facilitate the interweaving of the weft threads...

. Most women weave their own Dokhnas (the traditional dress of the Bodo women) and shawls. The Bodos are also expert craftsmen in bamboo
Bamboo is a group of perennial evergreens in the true grass family Poaceae, subfamily Bambusoideae, tribe Bambuseae. Giant bamboos are the largest members of the grass family....



In the past, Bodos worshipped their forefathers and followed animistic traditions. In recent years, Bodos practice Bathouism, Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

 and Christianity.Among Christian groups some belong to the Bodo Evangelical Lutheran Church
Bodo Evangelical Lutheran Church
The Bodo Evangelical Lutheran Church is a Lutheran church made up of Bodo people, one of the ethnic groups of Assam, India. It is headquartered in Udalguri district in Assam....


Bathouism is a form worshipping forefathers called Obonglaoree. The sijwu plant (belonging to the Euphorbia genus), is taken as the symbol of Bathou and worshiped.
In the Bodo Language Ba means five and thou means deep. Five is a significant number in the Bathou religion.

A clean surface near home or courtyard is considered as an ideal place for worship. Usually, a pair of Betelnut called 'goi' and betel leaf called 'pathwi' could be used as offering. On some occasion, worship offering could include rice, milk, and sugar. For the Kherai Puja, the most important festival of the Bodos, the altar is placed in the rice field. Other important festivals of the Bodos include Hapsa Hatarnai, Awnkham Gwrlwi Janai, Bwisagu and Domashi.

The Bodos now

The Bodos led a gory struggle in the name of self-determination in late 80's under the leadership of Upendra Nath Brahma, who is now regarded as the Father of the Bodos (Bodo-Fa). After a decade of long agitation, the Bodos have been granted the Bodoland Territorial Council(BTC), an autonomous administrative body that will have within its jurisdiction the present district of Kokrajhar
Kokrajhar is a city in Bodoland Territorial Council, Assam, one of the North East States and territories of India.Kokrajhar city is located along the bank of Gourang River. The North East Indian Railways divides the city into two sides, north and the south...

, Darrang and adjoining areas, and some parts of Kamrup and Nalbari. The movement for autonomy was headed by the Bodo Liberation Tigers (BLT), an outfit believed to have undertaken many extremist activities in bodo dominated areas. The BSF, Boro Security Force, an underground organization of the bodos, now known as NDFB, National Democratic Front of bodoland, is still involved in insurgency. Following the establishment of the BTC, the BLT have come overground.

During the early 1990s, the Bodo's insurgency had a significant impact on forests and wildlife populations in the Manas National Park
Manas National Park
Manas National Park or Manas Wildlife Sanctuary is a Wildlife Sanctuary, UNESCO Natural World Heritage site, a Project Tiger Reserve, an Elephant Reserve and a Biosphere Reserve in Assam, India. Located in the Himalayan foothills, it is contiguous with the Royal Manas National park in Bhutan...

, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The poaching of rhinos and swamp deer, in particular, severely diminished the stocks of these endangered species, to the point where they are said to locally extinct. The damage caused by the insurgency is the main reason why the wildlife sanctuary has been on the World Heritage Council Danger List since 1992.

In 2006 Assam Assembly elections, the former Bodo Liberation Tigers(BLT) members under Hagrama Mohilary formed an alliance with the Indian National Congress
Indian National Congress
The Indian National Congress is one of the two major political parties in India, the other being the Bharatiya Janata Party. It is the largest and one of the oldest democratic political parties in the world. The party's modern liberal platform is largely considered center-left in the Indian...

and came to power in Dispur. Educational and job opportunities remain the biggest problem for Bodos.

External links

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