They are mainly farmers. These tribes are found not only in Bastar but they are also spread in Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Maharashtra.
They speak Halbi dialect. Halbi was the language the king of Bastar used to speak. The dialects pronounced are having traces of Odia, Marathi and Chhattisgarahi languages.
Halbas of Bastar believe that their ancestors came from Warangal with Raja Anam Dev.
It seems, the origin of the word Halba is from the word Hal, which means plough. One who bears hal (plough) is known as Halba.
As per another legend, Goddess Parvati came to visit her people. She noticed that few farmers were harvestng. There were four effigies kept to secure a better crop. Goddess Parvati, with her divine powers, made these effigies alive. These effigies started dancing by shaking their bodies. Looking at the lively effigies, the king asked the name of their tribe and people could not answer.
Goddess Parvati told them to be known as ‘Halifax Batta’, Which means one who shakes himself or herself(Hilnewala).
Halibas can be divided into three major types: Chhattisgarh, Marathia and Bastaria.
The Bastaria Halbaas enjoy great similarity with tribals of Warangal district. The Bastaria Halbaas perform marriages only in their own clay living in Bastar district though, women enjoy respectful status in the society, they cannot divorce husbands. In the society, the widower can remarry only widows.
They eat meat and consume wine and Mahua drinks.
However, Kabirpanthis (follower of Saint Kabir, regard themselves as Hindu. still maintain monotheism and are opposed to idol worship), are strictly vegetarian.
Though Halibas are primarily farmers, nowadays they are involved in various professions of their choice. They are progressive and affluent. They also enjoy the privileged status of a high local caste and hence revered in tribal community.
In great Bastar Dussehra festival, the ritual relating to jogi Bithai is carried out with a person from the Halba tribe, who sits on vigil for 9-days and nights to watch over the festivals.