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Centres of 'feverish activity' for Koraput, Bastar tribal women: Weekly haat bazaars

By Deepanwita Gita Niyogi* 
In the tribal areas of Bastar and Koraput districts, it is common to find weekly markets held once a week in rural areas. Locally known as haats or haat bazaars, these places are centres of feverish activity often centred around women.

It is common to find women either buying stuff needed at home or selling items at haats, ranging from dried mahua to fresh vegetables. Many of them come on foot from nearby villages. In these rural markets, women feel comfortable and uninhibited. They are often spotted taking a break and enjoying local drinks.
Haat 1: A woman relaxes during a haat in Bastar. Most women wear such colourful glass bangles. In fact, bangles are often sold in these markets.
Haat 2: Chapda or red ant chutney in leaf bowls is often sold by women across haats in Bastar. It is considered a delicacy. The chutney can be prepared by grinding tomatoes, coriander leaves, garlic and ginger on a sil batta, a traditional stone used for crushing spices.
Haat 3: A woman sells pakodas and fried items at a haat. These are relished mostly during the afternoons.
Haat 4: Apart from haats where there are many stalls, women are also seen selling items along the main roads in rural areas of Bastar. Here, she is selling dried fish.
Haat 5: A girl smiles from behind a plateful of hot jalebis kept at a shop in a rural market of Koraput district, Odisha, not very far from Bastar. Jalebis are consumed mostly in the mornings.
Haat 6: A woman takes a break in the busy morning hours in Lamtaput block of Koraput district.
Haat 7: Seeds of beans on sale.
Haat 8: Who can resist these tempting cherry tomatoes?
Haat 9: A woman roasts corn on a traditional stove in Koraput. Tattoos on the arms of women are commonly seen.
Haat 11: A woman selling vegetables in Koraput smiles while being clicked.
Haat 12: Such attractive nose pieces are commonly seen across Koraput.
Haat 13: The colourful world of women sellers.

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