Culture & Heritage
Chhotaudepur is tribal District. Native people (Adivasi) of Chhotaudepur are called Rathava. This name originates from their older residence region, named rath. Rathvas are found in all talukas of Chhota Udepur and also in Panchmahal district. They speak a very distinct dialect of Gujarati—Rathvi. Their main occupation is agriculture. There are 56 clans, and marriage within the same clan is prohibited.
The Rathvas worship several gods and goddesses , but Baba Pithora is chief among the gods of the Rathva community, and the painting is done in the homes to please him. It is drawn on three walls inside the homes of Rathva. They believe that this establishes peace and prosperity.The community people are famous for their tattooing marks on their body and Pithora paintings. They use the motifs of tiger, camel, elephant etc. on the walls of their homes. They have their own folk-songs and folk-tales. The folk songs are sung by them at the time of marriage ceremony. They perform dance and play music at the time of festivals and marriages.
The main festivals of the Rathva community are Holi, Divaso, Dusshera, Dev-diwali, and Akhatrij. It is during the melas (fair) that one can view the cultural diversity of the Adivasis: Telav Mata Mela in Pavijetpur, Gher Mela in Kawant, Mela in Dungarvat, Jhojh, Raisingpur, Chhota Udepur, Amrol are organised after Holi.
The Haat (weekly market) is where most Adivasis meet their needs. Each day of the week there is a haat in different places in the adjoining areas of Chhota Udepur. The haat is a place of gathering for relatives and friends to meet. Items like clothes, vegetables, grains and livestock, bows and arrows, ornaments, bamboo articles, cooking vesselsare sold in the haat.