World’s second largest country after China, India is the top-notch nation to be known for the traditional bliss and colorful cultures. The vibrancy of this incredible nation can be impressively found at different locations and destinations; and incredibly at its distinct tribal regions which are still remain unexplored to greater extent. The tribes of India, which are untouched with the modern way of living, are locally termed as “Adivasi”. Unmatchable, the people are still living the way they used to centuries old years ago are still found untouched, unexplored in their crude form and highlights the tribal attractions and features in their handicrafts, music, occupation, festivals and much more.
So, let’s explore the incredible tribal part of India which is unique and still plays an important role in India not only with respect to population but as the traditional aspect of India. Some of the major tribes in India are:
Also known as Mhar or Mar, generally found in the North-eastern range of India, they inhabits the regions of Meghalaya, Mizoram, Cachar, Chittagong Hill Tracts and Tripura. The people of Hmar tribe are the followers of Christianity and the languages they speak are English, Hindi and Hmar languages. This is the much developed tribe in India where some of the natives are educated and carry some encouraging steps towards the development and betterment of the community. They are expertise in conventional folk dance to represent the adventure, battle, love, victory and other experiences throughout history. The main occupation of the Hmars are farming and weaving.
Much progressive tribe in India, the Oraons are much into education and worship in churches. The community, divided into sub-castes like Kudas and Kisans; follow patrilineal family customs. Over the years, the community has progressed a lot and has shifted to the major cities of India and also settled in abroad. Earlier dependent on forest and farms for rituals and livelihood the community has now being settled into agriculture and education.
Lastly, the most popular tribe in India, located at the central India the Bhils are the most popular tribe commonly found in the areas of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and far-east in Tripura. The community has greater association with the braveries of ancient times since they (Bhils) were the brave warriors in Maharana Pratap & Chhatrapati Shivaji’s Army.
Mostly the inhabitants of the Dauladher Range of Himachal Pradesh, the people of this tribal community are Gypsies in true nature and keep shifting their base to a higher level during summers. The Gaddi tribe has accepted and believes in both the Islam and Hindu religions and carries the main occupation of sheep rearing and wool making. Some of the Gaddis dwell in Brahamaur Region of Chamba District, near the higher regions of Ravi River and valleys of Budhil River.
The Bodo Tribe
The largest ethnic & linguistic tribal community of north-western parts of Assam is the Bodo tribe and Kachari. Residing in the Brahmaputra valley the Bodos are best recognized as earliest settlers in Assam. Being derived from the word ‘Bod’ means Tibet, Bodos are a peace-loving people with their main occupation as agriculture and sericulture; the Bodos follow the culture known as Bathouism and are best known for their exceptionally colorful folk dances such as Bardaichikhla and Bagurumba.
Mainly inhabits the region of Jharkhand, the Munda tribe is also spread in some regions of Bihar, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh and Orissa. This tribal community is highly respectable from the time of pre-Independence era because of the active participation in the freedom struggle. Birsa Munda, the most respected freedom fighter and fought very hard at the age of 20 and was treated as God by the tribal community.
The basic inhabitant of Indian Deccan peninsula, the Gond community can be found in the central part of India where the region is called the Gondwana region and so do the tribe is being named. The regions of the Gonda in India are specifically in Chhindwara district of Madhya Pradesh, Bastar district of Chattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Orissa. The cultures of the Gonds have been inherited from Dravidian culture and are the followers of Hindu religion.
The Khasi tribes are the inhabitants of the Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya and interestingly around 50 % of the Meghalayan population is composed of the Khasi Tribe but beside that, some parts of Assam, Meghalaya, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Manipur, West Bengal and J&K are also the true inhabitants for the Khasi community. Khasis belong to the Matrilineal Society i.e. the descendents are recognized by the mother and maternal ancestors.
The Chenchu tribes in Andhra Pradesh are the Hindu Aboriginal tribes inhabiting at the Nallamalla hills. They are the food gathering people living in the Nallmalla forests with their main activity as hunting and gathering food. The interesting fact about the Chenchus are that they are one of the Primitive Tribal Groups that are still dependent on forests and do not cultivate land but hunt for a living.
Found in the North Eastern India at the regions of Jatinga valley, the Dimasa tribe is the part of the great Bodo-Kachari group in the present day Dima Hasao district of Assam. The tribe is best known for their cultural and traditional cinevistaas. Their folk dance dorms are very exceptional since they do not follow any songs but their dance forms are entirely dependent on the instrumental music.