Region: Malakangiri, District Koraput, Orissa
Also Known As: Koya
Famous As: Tribal Festival
Falls On: Chaitra Parva (April)
The festival of 'Chaitra Parva' is known as "Bija Pandu" among the tribal people known as "Koya" who are concentrated in the Malkangiri sub-division of the district of Koraput. The Koya villages are situated on patches of clearings in the midst of dense forests.
In each village there happens to be a 'Bijigudi' or house of Cod. The tribes worship, 'Gudimata', the Mother Earth and also the earth whom they call "Bhumu". During the festival they worship the 'Godlings' with liquid and sacrifice an animal or bird.
The "Bija Pandu" is the sacred stone from which the festival takes it name. During the festival the men go out hunting and fishing in groups and return home before dark. During the days the women keep on singing and dancing, waiting for their men to come. In the evenings they unite, feast, drink and dance together.
The Dance Costumes
The Koyas have special variety of dance for the festival. Men wear huge headgears of 'Bisson'-horns, which are richly decorated with peacock feathers and cowries. The drums are cylindrical and unusually long. Women wear brass-caps and hold sticks fitted with tinkling bells, which they strike during the dance in between the beats. They dance in circles singing songs of love.