The Gonds, recognised as Koytorias / Kotoriya tribes mainly predominate the dense forests of Bastar.
Some Say, they are the oldest tribes of the planet.
The Gonds of Bastar are one of the most famous tribes in India, Known for their unique Ghotul system of marriages.
The Ghotul system is mainly practiced among Muria Gonds and the origin of the system is related with their Goddess Lingopan.
According to Gond legend, Lingo, the Supreme Deity created the first Ghotul.
Gonds are the largest tribal people of central India in terms of population.
The etymological name comes from the Telugu term “Kond”, meaning hills.
These tribal people live mostly in deep forests of Bastar, perhaps the leat in contact with the world outside.
The tribal economy is mainly agrarian but they are also dependent upon forestry, hunting, fisheries and cottage industries. They mainly practise traditional Hindu customs and marry with in the family, in order to preserve the customary completion of the nupital vows with in the family. Remarriage, widow marriage, divorce and marrying in-laws, as well as brothers and sisters, are a common affair.
Gond society is somewhat matriarchal where the groom has to pay dowry to bride’s family to pay his due respects.
They like to live in groups in small villages.
Gonds have a special skill, that has been passed down to every generation and that is the secret of medical plants. They still follow the traditional system and use plants and herbs for curing various ailments.
They prefer marriages among blood relations The groom has to pay bridal price to the father of the girl and in this way; the system gives respect and power to woman in the society.
The three principal sub castes of the aboriginal Gonds are the Dorla, Maria, and Muria races.