My Visit to Traditional Tribal Nakulnar Market Dantewada, Chhattisgarh
The traditional tribal Nakulnar market of Dantewada is operated by the locals, of the locals and for the locals! They call it haat! I was blown off my feet by the scenes of authentic culture of the people there. The scene is colorful, vibrant, noisy and busy, so different from the shopping malls I am used to. Vendors sat on either side of the narrow dusty road with their wares. Some have walked around 10kms to reach the market with their products.
What is for sale at Traditional Tribal Nakulnar Market…
The farm products on sale are so different, some I have never seen in my life. I did sample a few of their edible products. The pattern I observed is they would make small heaps of their products. Each of them would be of Rs. 10. I was surprised similar amounts of tomato, dry chilli, dried fish and more… all cost the same. Rs. 10! And while I stood there wondering how all could be same the locals went about purchasing their requirements without haggling one bit.
Food and Drinks at Tribal Market of Nakulnar
The market seemed to be based more on food. Though there were small set ups selling garments, footwear, agricultural tools, jewellery, food seemed to dominate the scene more. Alcoholic drinks ranked next, I couldn’t believe that! Men and women both involve in drinking. The cups are made of leaves, pegs are poured into that and the customer drinks then and there and takes refills. Again one peg is for Rs. 10. They do sell bottles of these locally made alcoholic drinks.
Heaps of mahua flowers are on sale. The flowers are fermented to produce the alcoholic drink mahua, country liquor. Jungles of central India have dense growth of Mahua Trees. Tribal use the different parts of the tree for different purposes. The dried flowers are distilled in earthenware pots to make heady beverages.
Women at Nakulnar Market
I could see more women making the sales. Almost all were well dressed up for the market, some I would say were decked up very well in terms of choice of jewelery. Oiled and neatly combed hair pulled back to bun, colourful attire and some having a permanent smile, it was a real pleasure to interact with them. I ventured into their jewellery section, just as I often do in malls, hoping to find some traditional stuff. They mostly had glass bangles and chains of colorful beads. There I made a couple of purchases and their endeavor to sell the best touched me!
What else was on… at Nakulnar Market
These markets usually close with cock fights which can go on for 3 hours. It is usually held in the evenings. Unfortunately due to lack of time I could not make a second visit to the traditional tribal Nakulnar Market to witness a real cock fight. The price of cocks used for fighting shows is around Rs.1000, but for consumption they cost much less.
Nakulnar, the Village
Nakulnar is a large village located in Kuakonda of Dantewada district, Chhattisgarh with total 330 families residing. The Nakulnar village has population of 2050 of which 978 are males while 1072 are females as per Population Census 2011. Most impressive fact about Nakulnar village is that it has higher literacy rate compared to Chhattisgarh. In 2011, literacy rate of Nakulnar village was 84.99 % compared to 70.28 % of Chhattisgarh.
I made this trip to traditional tribal Nakulnar market Dantewada while on a FAM trip for #BarasurMahotsav courtesy Dantewada District Administration .