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a group of peoples in India (the Munda proper, Santal, Ho, Kharia, Korku, Birhor, Bhumij, Juang, Savara [Sora, Saora], Gadaba) who live mainly in southern Bihar and in Orissa and West Bengal. Total population, approximately 5.7 million (1971, estimate).

The Munda speak Munda languages; many also speak Hindi, Bengali, Oriya, and other languages of neighboring peoples. The Munda religion contains a mixture of animistic and Hindu beliefs. The Munda are the descendants of the ancient population of India, which was driven into the mountainous forested regions of central India by later arrivals—the Dravidians and, later, the Indo-Aryan peoples. Munda tribal groups differ greatly in their socioeconomic and ethnic development. Alongside developed groups (Munda proper, Santal), there are groups (Juang, Birhor) that have only recently begun to shift from hunting and gathering to primitive agriculture and that retain many survivals of the clan and tribal system. Most Munda engage in farming (rice, millet, beans, vegetables), although hunting and gathering continue to play an important role. Well-developed crafts include pottery-making, wickerwork, and woodworking. Some Munda work in the mining and metallurgical industries.


Narody Iuzhnoi Azii Moscow, 1963.
References in periodicals archive ?
ON A day Jharkhand chief minister Arjun Munda resigned and recommended dissolution of the 82- member assembly, the JMM, Congress and the RJD began parleys to form an alternative UPA government in the state.
Hemant Soren of JMM, who is one of the two deputy chief ministers, announced in the state capital Ranchi that they were going to formally\inform the state governor about their decision to withdraw support to the Munda government.
In addition, AFD has also shown keen interest to provide funds for Munda Dam multipurpose project in Mohmand Agency, and Harpo and Basho hydropower projects in Gilgit Baltistan.
He also appreciated efforts of FDRD Irrigation Department for reconstruction of Munda Headworks.
Later, the Mayar Jandol Police arrested the second accused and handed him over to Munda Police.
But Munda had rejected the claim and said: " The issue ( of power sharing) which it ( JMM) has raised had not been placed ( during formation of government).
Munda had been Jharkhand chief minister twice and his performance at best was rated lacklustre.
However, in the recent meeting of the National Development Council, Munda did emphasise that Internet connectivity was critical to the working of the scheme.
Munda, twice chief minister of the state, was accompanied by state BJP president Raghubar Das, JMM legislature party leader Hemant Soren and AJSU legislature party leader Sudesh Mahto.
The Munda police took five suspects, including watchman of the bazaar and an Afghan national, into custody for further interrogation.
Munda, who was responding to a poser on the move to impose President's rule in Jharkhand, said only a stable government should come in the state, and only a stable government can carry forward development work.
JMM party core committee members Supriyo Bhattacharya and Vinod Pandey met chief minister Munda on Sunday.