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Tribes of India
Tribes of India

Not the wild human beings... Rather untouched by the modern lifestyle. TRIBES are cultural assets and interesting facets of the country that attract art lovers and researchers !!

Visit Indian tribal communities to peep into the undiscovered culture, lifestyle and folk art forms of India. With more than 85 million tribal people, divided into more than 500 communities, India has the largest population of tribes in the world. These tribes or adivasi are undoubtedly the poorest in the country, as they have not witnessed urban development ever. They still depend on haunting, agriculture and fishing. Tribes are known for a distinctive culture, costume, language and handicrafts. Earlier they were illiterate, backward and were counted in the neglected section of the society. They used to live as per their old customs and traditions. But today, Indian Government is making efforts to improve the living standard and conditions of these tribes. They are being provided proper education and reservation for further career.

Concentrated in rural areas or near the forest areas, tribes strive in an environment-friendly eco-system. Tourists often visit India on tribal tours to visit the places like Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat & North-East India to explore the lifestyle of these tribes, their surroundings, their activities and food habits. Gonds, Santhals, Angamis, Bhils, Nagas, Mizos, Khasis, Mishing, Thakars, Boros, Jaintias, Bhutias and Great Andamanese are the major tribes of India.

The largest tribe of South Asia is Bhils. In India, they are widely spread in mountains of central-western India, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan and north-eastern parts of Tripura. Indian ancient literature and epics prove the existence of Bhils in ancient times of Lord Rama (Ramayana) and Lord Krishna (Mahabharata). Bhils use bow as their weapon and carry it all the time. Bhils use Bhili language, which is purely an Indo-Aryan language. They are known for interesting folk dance, drama, festivals and music.

Bastar in Chhattisgarh is called as the land of tribes. It is known for its marvellous natural beauty and tribal families like Gonds, Ambhuj Maria, Bison Horn Maria, Muria, Baiga, Kumars, Kawars and Halba. Out of these, Gonds is the largest tribal group and Maria, Muria and Dorla are its sub-castes. Gonds cover a major part in Madhya Pradesh, eastern Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and northern Andhra Pradesh also. They are good craftsmen and popular for their hand-woven clothes, wood carvings, bamboo furniture, dance and music. They use Dravidian language along with some Oriya, Marathi and other tribal dialects.

The north-eastern parts of India comprise of thick evergreen forests. These areas are the habitat for several tribes since centuries. Areas of Nagaland, Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh are known for the dominating tribe Nagas. Apart from this, several small tribe communities inhabiting the area are Bodos, Mizos and Santhals. Naga word is derived from “Nagna” of Hindi, which means naked. Nagas are known for the paucity of clothes. But this tribe is excellent basket manufacturer. They design numerous products from bamboo like armchairs, sofas, tables, cradles for babies, mugs and musical instruments. They speak around 60 kinds of different dialects.

In the form of 62 tribal communities, more than 57% population of the Raigarh district of Orissa comprises of tribes. A major area of the Raigarh forests is reserved for the tribes like Kondhas and Saoras. They are spread in the  plateaus of Niyamgiri hill ranges. Dongaria sub group of Kondhas is declared as one of the 13 primitive tribes of the state. Very artistic in nature, the Saoras is the second backward tribal community, which inhabits the parts of Gunupur, Gajapati district. They are good hunters and farmers.

Tribes are organized in their own typical manner. They are highly religious too. A tribal tour in India means exploring the undiscovered India, its age-old rural traditions, art forms and lifestyle. Typical tribal music, dances, unique ornaments, colourful dresses, funny hair-styles, body paints, masks and tattoos make your vacations interesting as never before.
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