The Rathwa tribe constitutes the group and sub-groups of aboriginal people native to Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Madhya Pradesh. The tribe gets its name from the ancient Dravidian term ‘rathbistar’ standing for the hilly and forested region in the above states. The original inhabitants of the aforementioned regions came to be known as rathwas. A sub-group who claim their ancestry to the rathwas is called the Rathwa Koli community. Rathwas presently inhabit the talukas of Nasvadi, Jabugam, and Chhota Udaipur that lie in the Baroda district. Rathwas have remained endogamous by and large and speak in Rathvi-pidgin Gujarati and farming continues to be their chief occupation.
Ideal Visiting Time
The Rathwas follow religious practices that are very similar to the ones practiced by Hindus and celebrate the chief Hindu festivals of Holi, Dusshera, and Diwali with gaiety. They also have their own tribal ceremonies like Pithora and Ujani. Pithora is celebrated during January-February when animal sacrifices are made, folk-songs are crooned, and several other time-honored rituals are carried out. So, the best time to socialize with the Rathwas is during these months.