Category Archives: Misconceptions

Emerging globalized world is partly responsible for undervaluing the philosophy and traditions of the traditional community. This process led them to undergo cultural crisis and philosophical stigma. The outcome is the polarisation of human society and civilization into culture and uncultured, democratic and undemocratic, civilized and uncivilized, and so forth. It functions within the calculate strategy of the dominant ideologies so as to perpetuate hegemonic domination.” – “Tribal Philosophy and Culture: Mao Naga of North-East” by Athikho Kaisii (Publisher’s discription, accessed 23 June 2022)
https://mittalbooks.com/products/tribal-philosophy-and-culture
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=25096

“We are so much more than that. We follow a tradition rich in music, dance and love.” – Swarnalatha, who now runs an NGO that works for the upliftment for people of her tribal Irula community (known for their snake-catching skills), quoted in “Irulas much more than a community of snake catchers” (Times of India, 23 February 2018)
https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/irulas-much-more-than-a-community-of-snake-catchers/articleshow/63035204.cms
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=1753

“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.” – 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

“Indian local communities shape their identity around their status of caste and/or tribe, and while some anthropologists have considered the boundaries between these presumably discrete identities to be porous, it is striking how tribal people perceive their identity as immutable, regardless of social dynamics. While not denying that discontinuity and innovation have affected the formation of identities in South Asia, they should not be treated as arbitrary constructions, as has been the trend in these postmodern times.” – Marine Carrin, General Introduction to Brill’s Encyclopedia of the Religions of the Indigenous People of South Asia (Handbook of Oriental Studies. Section 2 South Asia, Volume: 36, 2021)
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=48430

“The theoretical debate on caste among social scientists has receded into the background in recent years. [C]aste is in no sense disappearing: indeed, the present wave of neo-liberal policies in India, with privatisation of enterprises and education, has strengthened the importance of caste ties, as selection to posts and educational institutions is less based on merit through examinations, and increasingly on social contact as also on corruption.” – Harald Tambs-Lyche (Professor Emeritus, Université de Picardie, Amiens) in “Caste: History and the Present” (Academia Letters, Article 1311, 2021)
https://www.academia.edu/4996345
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=6771

“It is wrong and does not help the tribal cause either to reduce the image of the Indian tribal society to that of destitute remnants, on the verge of dying out.” – Georg Pfeffer in Voices from the Periphery: Subalternity and Empowerment in India ( Routledge India 2012)
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=11961

“[T]he research suggested that the Harappan civilisation was not some mysterious forgotten society. It was part of a larger cultural milieu that survived its demise.” – Nayanjot Lahiri quoted in “The Dig” by Sowmiya Ashok (Fiftytwo.in, 2 April 2021)
https://fiftytwo.in/story/the-dig/
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=23774

“There are myths indicating that Asuras were made slaves by Aryans. These slave races are still struggling for annihilation of caste system. They live in abject poverty. Their latest names are ‘Scheduled Castes’, ‘Scheduled Tribes, and ‘Other Backward Castes’. They are yet to know about ‘human rights’. The fact is that aboriginals were enslaved and subjected to inhuman treatment through centuries. […] Students of history and anthropology have found numerous instances recorded in all prehistoric and established history of India, of a glowing past of this ancient tribe [known as Kolis, Koris and Kols] and more is being uncovered as research continues.” – “Koli, Kori, Kol – Aboriginal tribes of India” by Bhushan on MEGHnet (1 January 2011), based on three publications written in Gujarati
https://www.meghnet.in/2011/01/kolikori-of-india-we-call-them.html
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=2918

“The nation-state’s changing definition of the ‘tribal’ is informed by certain stereotypes or prejudices, by preserving the tribal identity, in an implicit manner, as being ‘barbaric’ and ‘uncivilised’. The tribal worldview has never been taken cognizance of, while working out the definition of ‘tribe’ and, instead, there is imposition of certain state-sanctioned identity whereby the tribal’s identity-crisis is magnified.” – Shreya Jessica Dhan in “Defining the ‘Tribe’ in State Discourse: From Adivasi and Scheduled Tribe to Indigenous Peoples” (conference paper summary)
Report for the ICSSR-sponsored Two-Day National Conference Tribes In Transition-II: Reaffirming Indigenous Identity Through Narrative organised by The Department of English & Outreach Programme Jamia Millia Islamia (New Delhi, 27-28 February 2017)
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=23073

“[S]ince national histories have become suspect to enlightened liberals, more particularly as they generally degenerate into becoming nationalist histories, scholars have had to search for new ways to write national histories without succumbing to the nationalist malady.” – Vinay Lal (Professor of History & Asian American Studies, University of California, Los Angeles UCLA), book review for India: A Story Through 100 Objects by Vidya Dehejia
https://vinaylal.wordpress.com/2021/07/17/objects-and-their-objective-the-story-of-india/
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=6335

“There was once perhaps an assumption that education and urbanisation would automatically drive change towards more liberal values in India. But it no longer seems as if these transformations are inevitable. The education level or wealth of respondents had little impact on the likelihood of experiencing social bias according to a recent survey.” – Rukmini S., book excerpt from Whole Numbers and Half Truths: What Data Can and Cannot Tell Us About Modern India in “Liberals are really India’s fringe: What a new book on data says”
https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/liberals-are-really-india-s-fringe-what-new-book-data-says-159529
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=21540

“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, July 16, 2000)
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=26645

“Aparna Vaidik’s [book] My Son’s Inheritance goes deeper into Indian history and culture, and shows that instead of being a recent phenomenon, violence, physical and psychic, has been endemic to the Indian socio-polity since ages. […] Vaidik locates this violence in communal enmities between the Hindus and the minorities, particularly Muslims, which often validates itself as retributive justice. Deep psychic violence also operated, the author reminds us, among Hindus themselves. Many Indian Muslims and Christians, we are asked to remember, were Hindus of the lower castes, or ‘non-Aryan’ tribals, who converted out of Hinduism because of the torture of untouchability and ostracisation.” – Book review by Suparna Banerjee (The Hindu, 1 August 2020)
https://www.thehindu.com/books/books-reviews/my-sons-inheritance-review-a-culture-of-violence/article32237271.ece
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?page_id=7592

“[T]he writing of South Asian as well as colonial scholars caricatured tribal communities by misrepresenting or fetishising their existence, and sometimes overcompensating for earlier misunderstandings—all of which further pushed tribes into obscurity. [They] are made to believe that they must give up their value systems, culture, religion, customs and aspirations, and that they must embrace the new order of the nation state to repay the favours done to them until they become self-sufficient through economic upliftment.” – 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=24902

Oral Literature and Memory: A Study of Tribal Folklore: Papers presented for “Tribes In Transition-II: Reaffirming Indigenous Identity Through Narrative” (National Conference) – New Delhi

Abstract 5: Oral Literature and Memory: A Study of Tribal Folklore Paper presented for “Tribes In Transition-II: Reaffirming Indigenous Identity Through Narrative” (National Conference) – New Delhi ATHIKO KAISII Centre for Culture, Media & Governance, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi KEYWORDS: … Continue reading

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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, Social conventions, Storytelling, Women | 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”

Tiger conservation and tourism – its impact on the people in and around the tiger reserves

The Supreme Court order [2012] to ban tourism in core tiger reserves, and decisions to shoot poachers at sight find favour with some conservationists, the middle class and media. But what will their impact be on the people who live … Continue reading

Posted in Bees and honey, Biodiversity, Colonial policies, Commentary, De- and re-tribalisation, Democracy, Eco tourism, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, Figures, census and other statistics, Forest Rights Act (FRA), Globalization, Government of India, History, Media portrayal, Misconceptions, Nature and wildlife, Nilgiri, Organizations, Photos and slideshows, Press snippets, Seven Sister States & Sikkim – North Eastern Council, Tiger, Tourism | Comments Off on Tiger conservation and tourism – its impact on the people in and around the tiger reserves

Giving Irula healing practices a place in modern medicine: A new source of livelihood for “one among the six oldest Adivasi tribes” – Puducherry & Tamil Nadu

The term Irula means being capable of finding one’s path in dark forests, according to an Irula myth | Read the full report in the Times of India here >> Born in nature’s lap, Irulas share a symbiotic relationship with Mother Earth. They … Continue reading

Posted in Community facilities, Customs, Eco tourism, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, Ethnobotany & ethnomedicine, Government of India, Health and nutrition, History, Misconceptions, Names and communities, Networking, Organizations, Press snippets, Revival of traditions, Scheduled Tribe (ST), Social conventions, Southern region – Southern Zonal Council, Success story, Tribal identity, Women | Tagged | Comments Off on Giving Irula healing practices a place in modern medicine: A new source of livelihood for “one among the six oldest Adivasi tribes” – Puducherry & Tamil Nadu

Similarities and differences between African diasporas in the Americas and those in India: Historical roots and customs of the Siddis – Gujarat, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra

Sidis [Sidhi] in India are now completely assimilated into local communities. Sidis are settled in Gujarat, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. When we think of African diasporas, we think of the Americas and the horrors of the slave trade, of … Continue reading

Posted in Anthropology, Assimilation, Colonial policies, Figures, census and other statistics, Globalization, Government of India, History, Misconceptions, Music and dance, Names and communities, Performing arts, Photos and slideshows, Press snippets, Rural poverty, Scheduled Tribe (ST), Social conventions, Tribal culture worldwide, Tribal identity, Video resources - external, Women, Worship and rituals | Tagged | Comments Off on Similarities and differences between African diasporas in the Americas and those in India: Historical roots and customs of the Siddis – Gujarat, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra