Category Archives: Literature – fiction

“While the danger of extinction looms large over some languages, many other languages have been thriving. For example, Gondi (spoken in Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra), Bhili (Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat), Mizo (Mizoram), Garo and Khasi (Meghalaya) and Kokborok (Tripura) are showing an upward trend because educated people in these communities have started using these languages for writing. They publish poems, write plays and perform them. In some of the languages, even films are being made.” – Abhijit Mohanty in “Seven decades after independence, many tribal languages in India face extinction threat” (Down to Earth, 26 August 2020)
https://www.downtoearth.org.in/blog/governance/seven-decades-after-independence-many-tribal-languages-in-india-face-extinction-threat-73071
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=6879

“Some educated tribal writers from the North Eastern states have recently managed to enter the national discourse (such as Temsula Ao who writes in English and used to teach at NEHU Shillong) but most tribals from eastern, central and southern India […] use languages that are inaccessible to the mainstream. The well-known Santal poet from Jharkhand, Nirmala Putul, started writing in Santali and remained unknown until she was translated into Hindi by Ashok Singh.” – Scholar-publicist Ivy Hansdak (The Johar Journal), email 20 October 2020
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=11376

“Narayan’s tale refuses to romanticise tribal ways of life — the pure, noble savage, Narayan shows, does not exist except as myth. He maps, of course, their intimate eco-vision, but also shows how disease ravages them due to their ignorance, alcoholism and the uneven gender relations. But he also points the finger at the economic exploitation that proves, finally, to be the bane of the community in the ‘new India’.” – Pramod K. Nayar in “Cultures in transformation”, reviewing Kocharethi by Narayan, the first tribal novelist of South India (The Hindu, 3 April 2011)
https://www.thehindu.com/books/Cultures-in-transformation/article14669586.ece
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=1459

“Tribals are currently reeling under the influence of urbanisation. Still we are trying to preserve our culture through our writings, even when many of us do not speak the language.” – Streamlet Dkhar (writer and professor of North East Hill University, Shillong) during the first-ever all-India tribal women writers’ meet, quoted in “City platform for tribal women writers” (The Telegraph, 8 September 2017)
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=22856

“Can we produce knowledge that is emancipatory for tribal and adivasi realities?” – Ruby Hembrom (founder-director of Adivaani—a publisher of Adivasi writing) interviewed by Madhuri Karak (Fiftytwo.in, 20 August 2022)
https://fiftytwo.in/story/title-deeds/
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=51851

“Memory plays a significant role in unfolding and revealing the tribal literature [being] collectively owned by the community and every member has the right and authority to interpret and translate as per one’s ability and genius to the best to make it accurate and appropriate. [I]nterpreting and translating from memory that has been handed down from generation to another [is] the only way to obtain accuracy as there is no written text.” – Abstract by Athikho Kaisii, National Conference “Tribes In Transition-II: Reaffirming Indigenous Identity Through Narrative” (2017)
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=25096

“Several indigenous authors—Easterine Kire, Jacinta Kerketta, Dolly Kikon, Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar, Temsüla Ao, Joy Pachuau, Senganglu Thaimei, Gladson Dungdung, Veio Pou, Kham Khan Suan Hausing, Ngamjahao Kipgen, Hoineilhing Sitlhou and many more—are writing stories foregrounding their perspectives, concepts, and theories about tribes. This is a step towards undoing tribes’ invisibility in literature. Yet, discrimination against tribes continues.” – 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=16601

“Tribal literature, be it songs, arts or crafts, do not have written scripts, when any literature, in order to stand the tests of time, needs to be preserved in print.” – Vaharoo Sonvane (tribal scholar-writer from Maharashtra) in a conference paper titled “Future of tribal literature” (The Telegraph, 29 April 2005)
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=1825

“It’s high time we recognise the contributions of tribal women in Indian literature.” – Devendra Kumar Devesh, National Conference “Tribes In Transition-II: Reaffirming Indigenous Identity Through Narrative” (2017)
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=22856

“The Ahoms ruled Assam for 600 years until the British took over in 1826. […] Modern history writing in Assam has also maintained a silence about these smaller kingdoms with fascinating, dramatic histories and intriguing royal families.” – Introduction to Indira Goswami’ s novel, The Bronze Sword of Thengphakhri Tehsildar (quoted in The Hindu, 2 March, 2013)
https://www.thehindu.com/books/books-authors/a-literary-bridge/article4465234.ece
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=10674

“[T]here 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 (lecturer at Adivasi Academy, Tejgadh), “Symposium held on Gujarat tribal literature, culture” (Indian Express, 28 February 2010)
http://archive.indianexpress.com/news/symposium-held-on-gujarat-tribal-literature/585310
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=6304

“The rights of tribal people, the lives of ordinary workers and the depiction of female desire were amongst the themes explored by the writer Mahasweta Devi. [Her] writing offers a way of using language to explore ideas about power, freedom and feminism.” – Introduction to novelist Preti Taneja’s radio programme “Books to Make Space For on the Bookshelf: Sindhubala” (BBC Arts & Ideas 17 March 2021)
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p099jckg
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=20816

“It’s time for our nations to have a voice”: A place for young leaders to share their stories and to show that they are contemporary citizens – United States of America

by Rae Paoletta 8/25/2015 There are 5.1 million Native Americans living in the United States right now, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Despite this, when you Google “Native Americans,” here’s what comes up: There are barely any photos of … Continue reading

Posted in Assimilation, De- and re-tribalisation, Democracy, Figures, census and other statistics, History, Literature - fiction, Literature and bibliographies, Media portrayal, Misconceptions, Modernity, Quotes, Revival of traditions, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Storytelling, Success story, Tribal culture worldwide, Video resources - external, Websites by tribal communities | Comments Off on “It’s time for our nations to have a voice”: A place for young leaders to share their stories and to show that they are contemporary citizens – United States of America

Poetry on the beauty of nature and its close association with mankind: “Tribal literature is as rich as any other literature in the world”

Mizo writer Darchhawna, who was awarded the Padmashree recently, praised tribal literature at a conference here today. He spoke on the concluding day of the Tribal Literary Conference and said tribal literature is as rich as any other literature in … Continue reading

Posted in Crafts and visual arts, Cultural heritage, Customs, Education and literacy, History, Languages and linguistic heritage, Literature - fiction, Misconceptions, Music and dance, Nature and wildlife, Organizations, Poetry, Quotes, Revival of traditions, Social conventions, Storytelling, Women, Worship and rituals | Comments Off on Poetry on the beauty of nature and its close association with mankind: “Tribal literature is as rich as any other literature in the world”

Survey of the living languages of India in present time (PLSI) – carried out by persons who belong to the respective speech communities or have worked closely with them

The People’s Linguistic Survey of India (PLSI) is a comprehensive survey of the living languages of India in present time. The first such survey since George Grierson’s Linguistic Survey of India carried out between 1894 and 1928, the PLSI is being carried out … Continue reading

Posted in Childhood, Eastern region – Eastern Zonal Council, Education and literacy, Endangered language, Ethnobotany and ethnomedicine, Figures, census and other statistics, Film, Government of India, History, Languages and linguistic heritage, Literature - fiction, Networking, Organizations, Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTG), Performing arts, Poetry, Press snippets, Quotes, Regions of India – Tribal heritage & indigenous knowledge, Revival of traditions, Santali language and literature, Tribal culture worldwide, Tribal identity | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Survey of the living languages of India in present time (PLSI) – carried out by persons who belong to the respective speech communities or have worked closely with them

“Kocharethi calls upon us to ethically engage with it, to question our complicity” – First novel by an Adivasi in Kerala

To read the full book review, click here >> Narayan, Kerala’s first tribal novelist, avoids romanticising his milieu. Kocharethi is about the hidden poetry of marginal lives… The temptation to exoticise cultures that have not been commodified yet must be … Continue reading

Posted in Adivasi / Adibasi, Anthropology, Childhood, Colonial policies, Customs, Education and literacy, Health and nutrition, History, Languages and linguistic heritage, Literature - fiction, Media portrayal, Misconceptions, Modernity, Names and communities, Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTG), Press snippets, Southern region – Southern Zonal Council, Storytelling, Tribal elders, Tribal identity, Western Ghats – Tribal heritage and ecology, Women, Worship and rituals | Tagged | Comments Off on “Kocharethi calls upon us to ethically engage with it, to question our complicity” – First novel by an Adivasi in Kerala

“A Class Apart”: Adivaani’s 10-year anniversary

Read the whole success story and the challenges met by Adivaani’s founder, Ruby Hembrom >> This year marks the 10-year anniversary of adivaani. Over the last decade, the publishing house, whose name means “first voices,” has published 19 books in … Continue reading

Posted in Commentary, Languages and linguistic heritage, Literature - fiction, Literature and bibliographies, Organizations, Santali language and literature, Success story, Tribal identity, Women | Tagged | Comments Off on “A Class Apart”: Adivaani’s 10-year anniversary