The word Madia originated from the word Mad of Gondi dialect, which means the Hill. Therefore, Madia means the people who live in the hills.
In the mountains of Abujhmad, spread over Narayanpur, Bijapur and Dantewada, live the Maria tribes of Bastar.
They are the largest group of tribes in Bastar. They have a coppery complexion, with straight black hair, wide mouth and thick lips. The women are graceful, light in complexion and pretty and they wear exotic jewellery, most of it handmade necklaces made of cane, grass and beads.
The woman enjoy, considerable amount of freedom.
Both boys and girls are allowed to spend the night out in Ghotul (Kind of rest house), every week. Ghotuls are regarded as shrines, built by Lingo pen, a Gond(a tribe) cult hero. Here, the unmarried boys of the village learn song and dance from their leader. They also sleep in Ghotuls. Every week, there is a dance carnival as well. Girls also take part in it. it is treated like a pilgrimage.
Goddess Danteswari is the reigning deity of Marias.
Marias are steeped in superstition. They have immense faith in black magic.
These tribes celebrate yatra festival every year. The young boys and girls perform this dance all through the night during the festival. During the performance, the male dancers wear a head gear decked with cowries and horns of Gaur, Therefore, the dance is called Gaur Dance, which is performed to participate the God. The entire village participates in the festival.