Brief Details of Tadvi

Tadvi, Valvi, Tetariya

Why Dhankas had different surnames? Why they were known as Tadvi instead of Valvi, or why Tetariya? There have been several popular beliefs behind this. According to one such belief, during famine period, they ale the meat of horse and they were known as Tadvi, one who rides over horse. Those who ale the meat of a bird Tetar, became Tetariya. Dhankas and Tadvi’s usually consume meat, fish etc., but according to one knowledgeable person, Tetariyas are perhaps an exception. Another legend considers them to be Rajput Chauhan of Pawagadh. However, the names, family names and surnames or social customs indicate that they are a sub-tribe of Bhils only.


The main population of Tadvi/Valvi/Tetariyas is in some villages of Nanded, Dediyapada, Sagbara talukas of Bharuch districts, and in some villages of Sankheda, Dabhoi, Jalugam, Naswadi, Chhota Udepur and Tilakwada talukas of vadodara district as well as some villages of Limkheda, Halol, Jambughoda and Devgadh Bariya talukas of Panchmahal District. As per 2001 census, their population was 2,52,637 persons(Male 1,30,403 and Female 1,22,234). They constitute 3.38 percent of tribal population.

Habitation and Household Kit

The houses of Tetariya / Valvi / Dhanka tribe are built on straight level land owned by themselves. Of course, situation differs from place to place. They habituate at different places in groups. Usually, they construct their houses in summer.

The walls are made from wooden sticks of cotton plant or tick wood tree or bamboo chips. Those who can afford, construct pucca brick-cement houses. The roofs are covered with either indigenous tiles or Manglores tiles or metal sheets. RCC slab roofs are rare.

They usually stay in one's own house. In a house, they possess the utensils made fram copper, brass, aluminum, stainless steel, clay, glass etc. They have cots, mattresses, kerosene lamp, wooden racks, drums to store food grains (earthen made or metal sheet made), radio, T.V., Tape recorder, tin box, bed steak, cupboard chairs etc.


Traditionally men used to wear a Dhoti with both ends open or only briefs (Langoti). The head used to be covered with a long cloth about 2 mts. length, shirt, and a towel or piece of cloth on shoulder. Some used to have a turban their head. Children put on half-pant and bush-shirt whereas youth (male) wear pant-shirt and some other clothes.

The women of this tribe traditionally used to put on petticoat blouse and kanchali (aback less choli with two strings to tie on the back) and a piece of cloth to cover the head. The women of Maharashtra border villages, under regional influence used to wear the petticoat in a way to keep apart two legs. The clothes of women used to be most colourful - red, pink, blue etc. Now days, women like Gujarati mainstream women put on full saree, petticoat and blouse. Girls put on frock or punjabi dress.

The men folk use to wear golden or silver ear-ring, silver anklet on arms, waist-belt and silver panhonchi on hand. Woman applies hind's in forehead silver leriya and vinton in ears, silver Hansadi in neck, silver ankletin arms and in legs too. Golden ornaments are also used in families who can afford it.


Like other tribal people, they also speak and understand Gujarati well. The literate persons also can write it/read it. But for internal communication, they use their own dialects.

Food and Drink

They eat loafs/Roti made from maize, Dal made from Urad/Taver etc. They also sometimes use wheat and rice; but Juwar and maize are their main food. On marriage and other festivals, they prepare sweets also.

They are addicted to tea, bidi, tobacco, liquor, tadi etc.


As per 2001 census, the level of literacy is 52.88 percent. This level is gradually coming up.


Tadvi/Valvi/Tetariya has faith in Hindu religion. They believe in worshiping Hindu Gods and Goddesses. Traditionally they also believe in Zampadi Mata, Verai Mata, Meldi Mata, Amba Mata, Meldi Mata, Kalika Mata etc. Besides, they worship lords Ram, Krishna, Shankar, Hanumanji, Ramdev Pir, Bhathiji Maharaj etc. They celebrate Hindu festivals like Diwali, Makarsankranti, Diwaso and Navratri etc.


Tadvi/Valvi/Tetariyas are steady agriculturist tribe. However, due to some reasons, some families have lost their land and they have to depend on agricultural labour work on somebody else's farm. Some people who had some educational qualifications have taken jobs and some other follow occupation like animal husbandry. Some of them go to work in nearby industrial factories or in diamond polishing.


For controls and restrictions on social dealings, this tribe has constituted formal or informal pattern of traditional 'Panch'. The members of the tribe meet to-gather and constitute the caste panch for complying with social customs and rules / regulations. Panch has a written constitution and it handles the issues regarding marriages, other social matters, re-marriage, divorce, education etc. However, in recent times, some people also resort to legal discourse instead of referring to caste-panch.

Social Customs

The social customs of Valvi/Tetariya/Dhanka tribe are according to their traditions. Following are the traditional customs in their life cycle.

Women is Menstruation

A woman in menstruation doesn't attend to any household work, but she can assist in farm-work. She can bring firewood, look after animals etc; but cannot cook or go to religious place. Only after 4 days, after taking thorough bath, she attends all these work.


When a woman ceases to get menstruation, she realizes that she is pregnant. Usually first delivery is done in parents place. It is done either by a trained Dai or in Hospital. But now days, even first delivery is done at her in laws' place. The Dai gets her dues after attending to delivery work.

Chhatthi Ceremony

This ceremony is performed on 6th day of delivery. In this ceremony, a coconut, fragrant pastille (in cense) ghee lamp, sugar etc. are brought. The Dai lights a lamp and makes a child lie down on floor duel prepared with clay and cow dung. The hymns are spoken to call the family Goddess and she is requested to keep the child healthy and well-protected. The Dai ties black string on the hands of a mother and a child. They believe that with such a prayer, the future of child becomes better.

Giving Name to the Child

The name of the child is given after 2-3 weeks. The sister of father is invited. The names are given by family members in the presence of neighbors. In earlier days, the name of the child was given in the name of days; but now days, any modern name of one's choice is given.


No marriage can be performed in a family or a gotra and near relatives. The consent of a girl is considered essential. The marriage arranged by parents with intervention of a relative. Of course, sometimes, boy and a girl run away and get married themselves.


The engagement ceremony in this tribe is known as 'eating of jaggery'. The boy's relatives go to girl, family, with jaggery. They apply oil on each other’s Chin and Catching the chin in one hand, puts jaggery in their mouth with another hand. This is 'eating of jaggery' ceremony; and this formally symbolizes finalization of engagement. After this, marriage invitation card is prepared with the help of Brahmin. The elder brother’s wife makes the boy sit on a patla to apply oil on his body, five women apply oil on his body; and then the brother's wife applies Haldi-paste. The holy pillar is installed at both the places. As per tribal tradition, a picture of Lord Ganpati is painted. Like Hindus, they arrange a pre-marriage procession and have a sweet dish.

The boy now gets ready in modern dress instead of his tradtional dress of a bride groom. He puts on pant, shirt, coat and a Safa on head; with Kalgi. The marriage procession goes to bride’s house in a tractor/tempo/truck or bus as the case may be. When they reach there, they are received by dance and songs. Then all are invited to lunch. The ritual of Hast Milap is arranged as usual. Saptpadi is also performed and a Brahmin gets all the ritual performed. The bride is given her dowry. Before concluding the marriage ceremony, the couple is taken to Ganpati and is made them to bow down and then the couple starts for their home-journey. After reaning home, they go to Verai Mata to offer their worship. The husband ties the kutcha cotton thread around the place and thus religious tradition is performed.


A widow can remarry; usually with her deceased husband's younger brother; but not with the elder brother. A remarriage can be performed outside Gotra.


If a woman is quarrelsome, careless in her household duties, if she doesn't give birth to a child, if she is considered to be a witch the divorce are granted. There is a custom of polygamy also. The divorce is granted after paying of stipulated amount of compensation / fine.


All join the funeral procession. The relatives are also informed and called. The slitters and daughters are specially invited. The firewood is sent to crematorium. The funeral bier is prepared by village carpenter. The dead body is made to take bath with the help of a Tumbadi; and new clothes are worn on it. If a person happens to be an unmarried girl or a boy, it is made to take bath after applying Haldi-paste. If the dead person happens to be a woman, her body is covered by red cloth; and that of a man by white cloth. One person from the family carries an earthen pot with funeral fire in it. The women go upto cross roads only. On way to crematorium, the dead body is given rest at Verai Mata's temple. After the dead body is placed on firewood bed, the family members give it a fire. After the dead body is burnt out, the family members and relatives go to a water source and take bath; and then return home. After 10 days of death, the family members shave and remove their hairs. On 12th day they have a Barma - a lunch is offered to relatives. This lasts for three days. The shraddh ceremony is performed in second half of Bhadrapad month.


Tetariya tribe people are considered to be smarter than other tribal people. They are also conscious for their education.

Population Data

Details of population data of Tadvi
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Tadvi Life
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