Ho Tribe

The people of Ho Tribe lives in Singhbhum, in Jharkhand, and in adjacent states of Orissa and Bengal.

Among them the family and the wider unit, killi (clan), are interdependent from the compositional and functional points of view.

But there is a definite division of labor between the killi and the family, and within the family.

Production of food is still a corporate responsibility of the extended family, but after food is distributed among the individual families, it is the function of the latter to see that the food is economically used.

The children belong to the family, but their education and training are matters which must be decided by the wider family group or the killi.

An individual may violate an established usage or taboo, but the wider family group has to account for it, and it ensures the compliance of the member concerned with the punishment meted out by the killi panch.

Illness in the family is primarily private matter, but the wider family group, or the killi, has the right to take any action necessary to prevent recurrence of the same.

The worship of gods and spirits is done on a communal basis, as for example when the entire killi performs sacrifices and observes feasts and festivals, but the individual family has its own obligations in the matter; it has to make contributions in cash and kind. Besides, there is the practice of family worship.

Most of the relations between a family and the killi are based on mutual reciprocity. Marriage, death and festivals among the Ho are apparently communal affairs, as the rites and ceremonies connected with them are performed by the whole killi. The reciprocity of relations has been finely developed in the case of marriage, where part of the bride price to be paid by a family is contributed by the entire village.

The Ho family consists generally of man, his wife and their children, but sometimes it follows the Hindu joint-family pattern, consisting of a group of brothers, their spouses and children. A large number of unmarried girls are associated with the family, on account of the high bride price which makes it difficult for parents to marry theme off easily.

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