Category Archives: Storytelling

“Having grown up within the largely oral Khasi community in Meghalaya, whose creative expressions mainly comprised song and “iathoh khana” (storytelling), it puzzled me that, in none of the canonical creative writing textbooks, had I come across a discussion on the influences of oral storytelling on craft.” – Janice Pariat in “Decolonising creative writing: It’s about not conforming to techniques of the western canon” (Scroll.in, 4 July 2021)
https://scroll.in/article/999215/decolonising-creative-writing-its-about-not-conforming-to-techniques-of-the-western-canon
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=3382

“[A]ll the stories we hear (from Adivasis) are from Oxford graduates and ‘upper’ caste people. Those are not our stories. But nothing is too late; we have to write our own stories, about our issues, from our own perspectives. It is better late than never.” – Scholar-Activist Abhay Xaxa quoted by Mahtab Alam (The Wire, 10 April 2020)
https://thewire.in/rights/remembering-abhay-xaxa-a-fiercely-unapologetic-adivasi-scholar-activist
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=32717

“Folktales are orally narrated and performed with the speaker’s gestures, voice modulations, imitation of characters, and improvisations. They are also participated by the audience. When oral tales take the form of written narratives, they undergo several changes at the level of language, culture, genre and audience; from tribal language to standardized Oriya language, which in turn involves appropriation of cultures. In terms of genre, they change from oral performances of songs and stories to written narratives.” – Anand Mahanand in “Report for the ICSSR-sponsored Two-Day National Conference Tribes In Transition-II: Reaffirming Indigenous Identity Through Narrative”
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=23050

“The adivasi has always been described as a figure of pity by mainstream writers. But there is a group of tribal writers, who, through their literature, are giving an answer to the questions raised on their identity. This is a phase of revolt for tribal writers, who are trying to showcase the tribes in the same light. It is only after this that the tribal writers can write about the beauty of their world.” – Jitendra Vasava, a lecturer at Adivasi Academy, Tejgadh (Indian Express, 28 February 2010)
http://archive.indianexpress.com/news/symposium-held-on-gujarat-tribal-literature/585310
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=6304

“An intimate, long-term relationship with traditional territories also gives rise to Indigenous systems of governance, social organization, and science. […] Examples of ‘Native science’ at work in food systems are among the best documented, having commanded the attention of natural and social scientists for at least the past century and a half. The process is both simple and complex.” – Sam Grey & Raj Patel in “Food sovereignty as decolonization: some contributions from Indigenous movements to food system and development politics” (Springer, 2014)
http://rajpatel.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/Grey-Patel-2015-Food-Sovereignty-as-Decolonization.pdf
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=27254

“[S]torytelling at its best through true stories of a tribal people’s daily life, and the interferences and abuses of power that come from government officials, politicians, lawyers — exploiters and manipulators of every hue. The full joy of tribal life [in Bastar] opens up in these pages without the slightest romanticisation. […] This is a book highly recommended for anyone who wants to journey into a deeper understanding of tribal cultures, which currently face genocide in Central India.” –  Felix Padel reviewing Woodsmoke and Leafcups by Madhu Ramnath (The Hindu, 12 March 2016)
https://www.thehindu.com/books/literary-review/felix-padel-reviews-woodsmoke-and-leafcups/article8341808.ece
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=20305

“There is a need to reclaim descriptions of the tribes; the onus must reside with the tribes themselves, since they have endured these portrayals for far too long.” – Richard Kamei in “Uncivilising the Mind: How anthropology shaped the discourse on tribes in India” (Caravan Magazine, 1 March 2021)
https://caravanmagazine.in/books/anthropologists-tribes-india
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=4012

“If Adivasis were to start writing their own Discovery Of India, it would be something like this: There are those who talk of India’s ‘5000 year-old culture,’ there are those who talk of its ‘timeless traditions.’ If India has a timeless tradition, it is ours.” – Gail Omvedt in “Call us adivasis, please” (ADIVASI Special issue, The Hindu, 16 July 2000)
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=26645

“Consistent across time and cultures is the use of the body to communicate and express—to tell stories, participate in the cycles of nature, mourn, pray, and celebrate” – Exhibition text, “Circle of Dance” (National Museum of the American Indian in New York)
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=9325

“We are the experts that connect to our people, and we know how to talk to our people in our communities. We know how to fairly represent them […] giving voice to people who have never had much of a voice in the last few hundred years. [T]he key for Native media to succeed is for it to connect to its cultural roots.” – Francine Compton (Canadian tv-producer) in “More than News: Indigenous media empowers native voices and communities” (American Indian Magazine, Smithsonian, Summer 2020)
www.AmericanIndianMagazine.org

Video | Synopsis: “Have you seen the arana?” Documentary by Sunanda Bhat – Kerala

Director: Sunanda Bhat | Producer: Songline FilmsGenre: Documentary | Produced In: 2012 | Story Teller’s Country: India Synopsis: The film interweaves contemporary narratives with an ancient tribal creation myth to explore the effects of a rapidly changing landscape on lives and … Continue reading

Posted in Adivasi / Adibasi, Childhood and children, Commentary, Cultural heritage, Customs, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, Film, Health and nutrition, History, Homes and utensils, Media portrayal, Modernity, Names and communities, Nature and wildlife, Quotes, Southern region – Southern Zonal Council, Storytelling, Tourism, Tribal elders, Video resources - external, Western Ghats - tribal heritage & ecology, Women | Comments Off on Video | Synopsis: “Have you seen the arana?” Documentary by Sunanda Bhat – Kerala

“We are so much more than that”: Book by S. Swarnalatha documenting the lives her own community, the Irula, who are known for their knowledge of nature and medicinal herbs – Tamil Nadu & Kerala

“My grandmother told me if someone ever pointed out our dance movements are peculiar, we should tell them these are the feline steps of a hunter” | To read the full story, click here >> Swarnalatha belongs to the tribal … Continue reading

Posted in Anthropology, Childhood and children, Customs, Ecology and environment, Education and literacy, Endangered language, Ethnobotany, Games and leisure time, Languages and linguistic heritage, Misconceptions, Music and dance, Names and communities, Nature and wildlife, Organizations, Press snippets, Quotes, Southern region – Southern Zonal Council, Storytelling, Worship and rituals | Tagged | Comments Off on “We are so much more than that”: Book by S. Swarnalatha documenting the lives her own community, the Irula, who are known for their knowledge of nature and medicinal herbs – Tamil Nadu & Kerala

Poet and novelist Mamang Dai: A member of a tribe of “ten thousand messengers / carrying the whispers of the world” – Arunachal Pradesh

Mamang Dai (India, 1957) is a poet and novelist. She lives in Itanagar in the North-east Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. She has one collection of poetry, River Poems, to her credit. Her next collection, Midsummer-Survival Lyrics, is due for publication in … Continue reading

Posted in Cultural heritage, History, Languages and linguistic heritage, Literature - fiction, Literature and bibliographies, Modernity, Nature and wildlife, Organizations, Quotes, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Seven Sister States & Sikkim – North Eastern Council, Storytelling, Success story, Tips, Tribal identity, Women, Worship and rituals | Comments Off on Poet and novelist Mamang Dai: A member of a tribe of “ten thousand messengers / carrying the whispers of the world” – Arunachal Pradesh

A martial arts festival that keep a tradition alive and profitable for practitioners: Tournaments conducted by the Khasi Hills Archery Sports Association – Meghalaya

In hilly Shillong, dream-interpreting locals and tribal archers combine to practise ‘Teer’ gambling | To view more photos and read the full story, click here >> The capital of Meghalaya likes to bet big and it’s not on cricket, horse-racing or teen patti … Continue reading

Posted in Colonial policies, Community facilities, Cultural heritage, Games and leisure time, History, Names and communities, Photos and slideshows, Press snippets, Revival of traditions, Seasons and festivals, Seven Sister States & Sikkim – North Eastern Council, Storytelling, Success story, Tribal elders | Tagged | Comments Off on A martial arts festival that keep a tradition alive and profitable for practitioners: Tournaments conducted by the Khasi Hills Archery Sports Association – Meghalaya

Improving Bhil children’s reading skills and comprehension: Report on the use of colourful storybooks in a range of Indian languages besides English – Madhya Pradesh

Tulika’s  storybooks were very well received by the students at Kakrana’s Rani Kajal Jeevan Shala (village school). They enjoyed reading them and even understood the stories. They made a considerable impact on both teachers and students and opened the window … Continue reading

Posted in Central region – Central Zonal Council, Childhood and children, Community facilities, Crafts and visual arts, Ecology and environment, Education and literacy, Languages and linguistic heritage, Literature and bibliographies, Modernity, Multi-lingual education, Names and communities, Organizations, Photos and slideshows, Quotes, Revival of traditions, Storytelling, Success story, Women, Worship and rituals | Tagged | Comments Off on Improving Bhil children’s reading skills and comprehension: Report on the use of colourful storybooks in a range of Indian languages besides English – Madhya Pradesh