Culture & Heritage
Karma : Karma festival is celebrated on Bhadrapad-Suklapaksh Ekadashi. This festival comes after the Agriculture operation of Kharif are completed. It is one of the main festival of all Koriean. After the completion of the agriculture operations, the community prays to God named “Karma Dev” for the bumper harvest. It also signifies a celebration after the hard labour they have gone through the Agricultural operations. Young boys and girls fast during the day and in the evening bring a branch of the tree “Karam Tree” and plant it in the varandah of the house of the head of their community. Java and wheat is germinated a few days earlier and the small plants are put in a small bamboo basket and placed before the branch of the Karam Tree. This branch represents Karam Deo. A lamp is lit and placed before Karam Deo.
Saila Dance : In the month of Aghan, the villagers go to the adjoining villages to perform the Saila Dance. According to Dalton, it is a dance of the Dravidian Community. The group of Saila Dancers go tup of Saila Dancers go to each house and perform the dance. They have small sticks of their hand and this stick is struck at the stick of the person dancing next to him. They move in circles in clockwise direction, then they turn around and move Anti-clockwise. The “Mandar” gives the beat to the dancers. When the beat becomes fast, the dancers also move faster. The sticks are once hit against each other when the arms are stretched upwards and then when the arms come down.
Suaa Dance : This is basically a dance of the women folk. Like the saila, the women use small stick in the same way expect that there is no down ward movement of the stick. They move in circle dancing and singing. A pot containing rice with a few wooden parrots coloured with paint is placed in the centre.
The main festivals of India like Diwali, Dashehra, Holi etc. are celebrated in District Korea also. Some other festivals like are also special among the Korean communities. They are :
Ganga Dashera : Ganga Dashera is celebrated on Bhim Seni Ekadashi. It herealds the sowing of Kharif srops. There are folk dances in which men, women, boys and girls dance together singing romantic songs. Liquor is taken by the dancers and this leads to spirited and vigorous dancing. It is especially of festival of rejoicing.
Chherta : It is celebrated on the Purnima (Full moon day) in Paus month. At this period of the year, the cultivator has harvested and brought home his Agrsted and brought home his Agriculture produce. Every family has a sumptuous mid day meal according to their financial status. Children go out in the village and collect rice from every household. In the evening, the young maids of the village cook the collected food near the village tank or on the banks of river or rivulet and then they have a community feast. Chherta is celebrated by all the commnities. It is essentially a festival to celebarate the harvest
Navakhai : This is the festival which is celebrated by Agriculturists of all communities. When the paddy harvest starts, the new rice is offered to the family Deity on the Navmi proceeding the Vijai Dashmi. There is a religious ceremony and after this the family takes the “Prasad”. After this the family starts consuming the rice. In the evening some communities perform dances and take liquor.
Surhul : This festival is celebrated when the Sal Tree starts flowering. Only some communities celebrate this festival. Mother earth is worshipped on this day. It is prohibited to plough the fields or do any form of digging of the Earth. Villagers go to the village “Sarna” (A small patch of forest within the village) and worship there. The Oraon community celebrate the marriage of the Sun God to Mother Earth.
The original inhabitants of Korea were probably the Kols, Gonds and Bhuinhars (Pando). All other communities claims to have come from outside. Migration into Korea was a continuous process. These migrants are :-
Cherva : The oldest migrants may have been the Cheros of Palamau who are known as Chervas in Korea. According to the elders of their family, they came some four hundred years ago.ome four hundred years ago. Some Chervas had migrated from Palamau and settled in Changbhakar and came to Korea subsequently. They gradually settled all over the District and most of the villages had settlement of their community. Baiga or the village priest was from their community. The villages which did not have a village priest, persuaded cherva families to settle in their village so that the village had the services of a Baiga. Being social and helpful their community, members were welcome in all the villages. Thus the Cherva community settlements sprang up all over the District. They were associated with the ruling family and received their patronage. This also led to their economic development.
Rajwars : They are not able to throw any light on their past history. They had a Zamindari in Korea State known as Gugra where they trace their ancestry to about Twelve Generations. So it can be assumed that they have been here for more than Twelve Generations. Probably they came two hundred to two hundred fifty years ago. Very first they came in Surguja and after some time they came in Korea. Being close to the ruling family of Korea they were given facilities to settle wherever they wanted. Originally they settled near the Rajdhani and shifted with the Rajdhani. When their population increased they cleared forests and developed new settlements. Being intelligent and hard working they became more affluent than the local people. Their earliest settlement were in Kharbet, Odgi, Bishunpur, Jampara, Bardia, Kudeti, Kathgodi, Gurga, Latma, Sardi, Kasra, Bodar etc.
Sahu : According to the elders of their family, they have migrated from Waidhan and Singrauli in Sidhi District in the last decade of the Nineteenth Century. The original settlements were in Baikunthpur, Shadi Kharbet, Talwapara etc.
Oraon : They are originally from Chotanagpur. According to their elders their ancestors to their elders their ancestors came to excavate a Tank in Bishunpur village. According to Historical Records, this tank was excavated by Bai Kadam Kunwar Rani of Raja Amol Singh. The period was approximately the middle of the 19th century. It is not known if some of their ancestors had come earlier. From Bishunpur they moved to Bodar, Kudeli, Amgaon, Kasra and other areas.
Kahars : Their ancestors came from Gaharwargaon the capital of the Singrauli during the close of the 19th Century and beginning of the 20th century. They settled in Baikunthpur. The mostly worked for the Rajas family. Subsequently some left Baikunthpur and settled in other villages.
Jaiswal : Jaiswal were migrated from Allahabad, Varansi and Ahrora area of Mirzapur. Their earliest migration may have been sometime in the Eighties of 19th century. Their original settlements were in Pondi, Herra, Nagpur, Baikunthpur, Bhadi, Baiswar etc.
Agarwals : Some Aggrawal families of Bikaner and other cities of Rajasthan settled in Manendragarh at the time of the construction of the Railway Line . Some Agrawal families migrated from Satna and Rewa and some from Haryana State settled in Manendragarh. This is the one reason to develop Manendragarh as a commercial centre of Korea State.
Schedule Caste : Most of the Schedule Caste families have migrated from Singrauli and Waidhan. Their earliest migration may have been in the Eight decade of the 19th Century. Earliest settlement were near Sonhat.
The Bhuinhar (Pando), the Gonds and the Cherwas were the Traditional Hunters. But now Hunting is totally retricted by the Government
The Bhuinhar (Known as Pando), the Bhuinhar (Known as Pando), the Gonds and the Cherwas were the traditional hunters. They used bows and arrows. Some arrows were poisoned. The poison was applied on the lower portion of the arrow.The good bowmen would sit at selected places. The others would drive the animals and when the animals came within twenty yards the bowmen would release their arrows. The bow used to have a thin bamboo strip connecting the two ends of the bow. This was pulled by the second and third finger, the legend goes that Eklavya (One character of Mahabharat) had lost his thumb as Guru Dronacharya had demanded his thumb as Guru Dakshina, so ever since then the tribal community do not pull the bow with the help of the thumb.Rabbit hunting was done in small fields. Three sides of the field were barricaded by small branches of trees. The rabbits were driven in to it through the open side and then they were beaten to death. A special way of hunting was practised by the use of musical sounds. A Jhumka, which makes a musical sound was used. It consists of an iron rod at the end of which are a number of small chains with Ghunghroos and rings .
In the night a group of people formed a party, and went to the forest where they could find deer and rabbit. In place of torch, they kept a small pitcher which had a three inch circular hole in the centre. In the pitcher they placed burning bamboo sticks, the flams threw a light which was projected through the hole in the pitcher. This acted like a torch. One person played the Jhumka, the rhythmatic music attracted rabbits and deer. They came near and were sort of hypnotised by the music. When they were within reach one or two persons of the party kept in front and beat them sticks. It is said that some times even panthers and tigers were attracted by the music. In such cases the group gradually slowed down the music of the Jhumka and gradually withdrew from the forest .
Wild partridges were caught with the help of a tamped partridge. The tamed partridge was kept in a cage near a tree.A net was placed encircling the cage. The owner of the tamed partridge sat on the top of the tree. The partridge was trained to perch when the owner started whistling. Once the partridge started perching the wild partridges from nearby bushes moved towards the place from where the perching sound was coming. Then they coming. Then they got snared in the net, some times eight to nine partridges were caught at a time. The tame partridge was known as Kutni.
Some communities went to the rivers in the night with flares made of Bamboo sticks. The light of the flares attracted the fish to the surface and then the villagers used a three pronged spear to kill the fish. In shallow streams bows and arrows were used to shoot the fish that came to the surface.
Birds sitting on tree were caught by what is known as Lasa. The sticky milky sap of Mahua, Bar, Peepul was mixed and kept in a small bamboo container. Very thin 18 inches long Baboo sticks were dipped in the milky liquid and kept on the branches of trees where birds sat. When the birds sat on the branches, the sticky milk liquid got transferred to their wings. The stick clung to their wings. They were unable to fly and fell down. Green Pigeon, wild Peen Pigeon, wild Pigeon, Doves, Maina, Parrot etc were all brought down in this way .
Another technique practised for killing birds was by shooting birds with bow and arrow in the night. The villagers watched the birds when they came to roost in the trees for the night. In the night, they lighted a bundle of dry bamboo sticks below the tree. The light of the fire gave them enough light to locate the bird. It was then shot with a bow and arrow. The arrow didn’t have a metal piece. It had a small wooden stump at the end. Birds were shot with this type of arrow. The wooden piece at the end of the arrow is known as Thepa.
Wild boars were killed during the Kharif season when they come to the village. Three feet wide and six feet deep long trenches were dug and the villagers drove the pigs towards this and they fell in the trench and were subsequently killed with spears. The Sambhar stag was an easy prey for the village hunters. They chased it with the help of dogs.
When poison was used on the arrows then the hunters had to be careful in eating the flesh of the animal. The flesh around the arrow was thrown away. In some cases there had been casualties when they had taken flesh of animals killed by poisoned arrows.