CONTENTS:- Preface 1. Introduction 2. Ethno-Historical Account and People 3. Ethnic Background and Distribution 4. Religious Belief: Rituals and Festivals at Pargana or Village Level 5. Bastar Dusehra Festival: The Process of Assimilation and Integration 6. Lakshmi Jagar: A Sanskritic Ritual 7. Process of Social Movement 8. Observation and Conclusion
Bastar District (Undivided) is the homeland of various ethnic groups with their distinct cultures and also sharing each other's cultural traits. The present treatise highlights about the religiosity of Bastar tribal groups who are having their own territorial boundary but the role of mother cult-Mata Danteshwari--the tutelary deity of Bastar King, acts like a centripetal force where both Hindu and tribal are roaming from apex to center and also act as a cohesive unit through which even distant Pargana and villages of Bastar are tied up through a single thread. The essence of Bastar Dusehra Festival (when chiefly Mata Danteshwari is appeased) evolved as a way of consolidating political power (through Manjhi, Chalki, Patel and Gaita etc.) using cultural and religious symbols through Danteshwari Mata. The various Matas in different villages are directly or indirectly related with Danteshwari which clearly reflects the extend of political power of Raja at grass root level. Now Dusehra festival of Bastar signals towards inclination of secularization of culture.