Category Archives: Tribal culture worldwide

“[India] has the highest number of Indigenous people in the world after Africa. As tribes uphold unique cultures, their preservation is vital at a time when a specific national cultural discourse is growing stronger […] in the backdrop of climate change, development, and deforestation.” – Deepanwita Gita Niyogi in “India’s Adivasi Identity in Crisis” (Pulitzer Center, 27 May 2021)

“I carry my life experiences with me everywhere I go. It’s those experiences that give me hope for the future. If an Indigenous woman from humble beginnings can be confirmed as Secretary of the Interior, our country holds promise for everyone.” – Deb Haaland quoted in “Reactions From Indian Country to Deb Haaland’s Confirmation as Secretary of the Interior” [USA] (National Museum of the American Indian, 18 March 2021)

“We were here before King Wijaya [the first Aryan king] came. We are the oldest living inhabitants in the country – and I want everyone to know that we exist here. I want everyone to know that we have our language, and we want to take it forward.” – Gunabandilaaththo (Danigala Maha Bandaralage lineage of Vedda) interviewed by Zinara Rathnayake in “Sri Lanka’s last indigenous people” (BBC Travel, 28 March 2022)

“[Archaeologist] Hazarika concludes that the earliest state formation in the region was not necessarily, as often thought, due to the inflow of Indo-Europeans into Assam, but as a result of intermittent trade between India and today’s China.” – Dhrijyoti Kalita reviewing Prehistory and Archaeology of Northeast India by Manjil Hazarika (, 3 March 2019)

“If it was possible for the land they stewarded to be violently taken by newcomers, isn’t it possible to peacefully return it, to make reparations for what was taken? In the past, and in our reckoning with loss, lies a world-expanding vision of the future, one that is not only possible but necessary.” – Alexandra Kleeman in “Bolder Reimagining”, discussiing the past and future of the region now called California (55 Voices for Democracy: “Bolder Reimagining” by Alexandra Kleeman, 31 December 2021)

“There are around 370 million indigenous peoples worldwide, living across 90 countries and representing 5000 diverse cultures. They make up less than 5 per cent of humanity, yet represent around 15 per cent of the world’s poorest people. Two thirds of the world’s indigenous peoples live in Asia and the Pacific. They include groups often referred to as tribal peoples, hill tribes, adivasis, janajati, orang asli, aboriginal or native. Indigenous peoples make significant contributions to humanity’s cultural, intellectual and economic wealth. Across Asia and the Pacific, they are sharing essential knowledge and skills in conservation and the sustainable use of land, forests and natural resources – key to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.” – Unicef in “The rights of indigenous peoples must be protected and respected”

“Tribal cultures the world over are intricately linked with the forests they live in. The story, or should wie call it the ‘history’ of modern civilization, is largely one of the taming and destroying the great forests of the world and the innumerable tribal communities that lived therein. […] Vices like alcoholism were introduced; the addiction is now used by the settlers to exploit resources from the forests.” – Pankaj Sekhsaria in Islands in Flux: The Andaman and Nicobar Story (Harper Litmus, 2017), pp. 5-7

“We can take action in our own daily lives, to uphold the rights that protect us all and thereby promote the kinship of all human beings.” – Human Rights Day 10 December – United Nations

“The tribal world and the tribal way is complete in itself.” – Mahasweta Devi quoted by Gopalkrishna Gandhi in “Swearing by Mahasweta” (The Hindu, 6 August 2016)

“[R]ivers run through Navajo lands but the water is diverted to golf courses in Phoenix […] while natives lack legal rights to the water and can’t even get plumbing to wash their hands.” – Janene Yazzie (Navajo community organizer) quoted by Vinay Lal (Professor of History & Asian American Studies, University of California, Los Angeles UCLA) in “Coronavirus in Native American Communities: The Charade of ‘Thanksgiving'”

“Indigenous people across North America depend on Native media outlets for essential information about their communities and tribal affairs. These newspapers, newsletters, magazines, radio and television broadcasts as well as online publications are often produced in places that otherwise lack a reliable source of timely, accurate and contextual coverage of what impacts their daily lives. Indigenous media, however, does more than distribute news. It serves as a community forum that can help reinforce cultural values and languages. Ultimately, it holds the potential to reaffirm an Indigenous community’s identity.” – Bryan Pollard (Cherokee Nation) in “More than News: Indigenous media empowers native voices and communities” (American Indian Magazine, Smithsonian, Summer 2020)

“[N]ative people are – through our strength, through our resilience, through our creativity – forcing the question: what kind of country do we want to be? And might we want to privilege our virtues and our values over our baser impulses.” – Book review “A New History of Native Americans Responds to ‘Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee’” (New York Times, 20 January 2020)

“The pressure that has been brought to bear upon the native people, since the cessation of armed conflict, in the attempt to force conformity of custom and habit has caused a reaction more destructive than war, and the injury has not only affected the [American] Indian, but has extended to the white population as well.” – Luther Standing Bear (who “became hereditary chief of the Oglala Sioux in 1905”) in “What the Indian Means to America”; quoted in The Mammoth Book of Native Americans: the Story of America’s original inhabitants in all its beauty, magic, truth and tragedy by Jon E. Lewis (London, 2004)

“The United States signed a series of treaties with Native Nations, making promises in exchange for parts, or the entirety, of their sovereign territories. The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly recognized these treaties as legally binding. The unmet treaty rights have contributed to enormous health disparities between Native Americans and the general U.S. population, including a lack of access to well-equipped and staffed medical facilities.“ – “COVID-19 in Indian Country” (National Museum of the American Indian in Washington)

“From India to Brazil, Europe to the United States, xenophobia is a structuring logic of state power and statecraft.[…] Freedom is not a gift. Justice is not an inheritance.” – Ananya Roy (“55 Voices for Democracy”, 14 December 2019)

The Adivasi way of life: Utopian or worth emulating by ‘mainstream’ society? – An ongoing debate

Anyone who has had some meaningful interaction with India’s indigenous or adivasi people, cannot fail to be touched by the encounter. There is a directness in them, an absence of artifice or guile, an almost childlike innocence, born of simplicity … Continue reading

Posted in Adivasi / Adibasi, Assimilation, Bees and honey, Childhood and children, Commentary, Community facilities, Customs, De- and re-tribalisation, FAQ, Fashion and design, Health and nutrition, Media portrayal, Misconceptions, Modernity, Press snippets, Quotes, Southern region – Southern Zonal Council, Tribal culture worldwide, Tribal elders, Western Ghats - tribal heritage & ecology, Women, Worship and rituals | Comments Off on The Adivasi way of life: Utopian or worth emulating by ‘mainstream’ society? – An ongoing debate

Audio | Celebrating the wisdom of the world’s indigenous cultures: Milton K. Wong Lecture by Wade Davis – Canada

This lecture was recorded for broadcast on Ideas on CBC Radio One. Listen to the full episode (54:00) >> Every culture tries to answer a fundamental question: What does it mean to be human and alive?  In the Milton K. Wong … Continue reading

Posted in Anthropology, Audio resources - external, Commentary, Cultural heritage, Customs, Ecology and environment, Ethnobotany & ethnomedicine, Figures, census and other statistics, Globalization, Health and nutrition, History, Languages and linguistic heritage, Misconceptions, Modernity, Quotes, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Storytelling, Tips, Tribal culture worldwide, Video resources - external, Worship and rituals | Comments Off on Audio | Celebrating the wisdom of the world’s indigenous cultures: Milton K. Wong Lecture by Wade Davis – Canada

Video | Schooling the World – a documentary on the world’s last sustainable indigenous cultures

SCHOOLING THE WORLD takes a challenging, sometimes funny, ultimately deeply troubling look at the role played by modern education in the destruction of the world’s last sustainable indigenous cultures.  The controversial award-winning documentary film, “Schooling the World: the White Man’s … Continue reading

Posted in Anthropology, Assimilation, Biodiversity, Childhood and children, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, Education and literacy, Ethnobotany & ethnomedicine, Globalization, History, Northern region – Northern Zonal Council, Quotes, Tribal culture worldwide, Tribal identity, Video resources - external | Comments Off on Video | Schooling the World – a documentary on the world’s last sustainable indigenous cultures

eJournal | The Johar Journal: A multidisciplinary journal that aims to familiarize people with the tribal way of life – New Delhi

Is there still interest in folklore in Santal society?There is probably some interest, but now we live in a world of rapid development in the media. We cannot let our culture and society stop. Folklore was what we had, but … Continue reading

Posted in Customs, eBook eJournal ePaper, Education and literacy, History, Languages and linguistic heritage, Literature - fiction, Literature and bibliographies, Misconceptions, Modernity, Networking, Organizations, Poetry, Resources, Storytelling, Success story, Tips, Tribal culture worldwide, Tribal identity | Comments Off on eJournal | The Johar Journal: A multidisciplinary journal that aims to familiarize people with the tribal way of life – New Delhi

Tribal influence on Indian and international fashion – Chhattisgarh & Seven Sister States

While fashion is a reliable reflector of change, it is also the marker of a continuity of control exerted by the affluent and the powerful. Desmond L. Kharmawphlang G. Badaiasuk Lyngdoh Nonglait Wandashisha Rynjah in Globalization: The Khasi Perspective, p. 13 … Continue reading

Posted in Adivasi / Adibasi, Central region – Central Zonal Council, Crafts and visual arts, Dress and ornaments, Economy and development, Fashion and design, Health and nutrition, Media portrayal, Museum collections - general, Photos and slideshows, Press snippets, Revival of traditions, Seven Sister States & Sikkim – North Eastern Council, Tourism, Tribal culture worldwide, Websites by tribal communities, Women | Tagged | Comments Off on Tribal influence on Indian and international fashion – Chhattisgarh & Seven Sister States