The Kharia comprise three tribes, the Dudh Kharia, Dhelki Kharia, and Hill Kharia. The first two speak who speak an Austroasiatic language, Kharia, but the Hill Kharia have switched to an Indo-Aryan language, Kharia Thar. There has not been any language development efforts made for Kharia Tar.
The Hill Kharia live in different states of India. In Odisha, the Hill Kharia are mainly found in Jashipur and Karanjia Blocks of Mayurbhanj district. A few villages are also found in Morada block. In Jharkhand, they are concentrated in East Singhbhum, Gumla, Simdega districts. Though widely found in this district, Musabani, Dumaria and Chakulia Blocks are the blocks where they live in large numbers. And in West Bengal, they are in West Midnapur, Bankura and Purulia districts. The majority are in Purulia.
The Hill Kharia are also called Pahari (meaning “Hill”) Kharia, Savara/Sabar, Kheria, Erenga, or Pahar. Outsiders call them Kharia but they call themselves as Sabar. They are called “Pahari (Hill) Kharia” because they live in the midst of forest and depend upon forest produces.
There are several gotras (clans) among the Hill Kharia such as Golgo, Bhunia, Sandi, Gidi, Dehuri, Pichria, Nago, Tolong, Suya, Dhar, Tesa, Kotal, Kharmoi, Digar, Laha, Saddar, Sikari, Rai, Khan, Dolai, Sal, Alkosi and Khiladi. Golgo seems to be dominant one because in every village that clan is spelt out first whenever their clans were asked.
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