Category Archives: Misconceptions

“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” timesofindia.indiatimes.com, 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

“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

“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

“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

Learning from tribal communities’ success stories: “Is it eccentric to live in beautiful scenery in the hills among some of the most charming people in the country?”

Arunachal Pradesh’s Singchung Bagun Village Community Reserve is winning hearts of the netizens for its novel cause. The reserve built to preserve a rare species of bird was set up after researchers, the Bagun tribe from the state, and the … Continue reading

Posted in Anthropology, Eco tourism, Ecology and environment, Education and literacy, Gandhian social movement, Health and nutrition, Literature and bibliographies, Misconceptions, Names and communities, Nature and wildlife, Networking, Organizations, Quotes, Resources, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Rural poverty, Success story, Tips | Tagged | Comments Off on Learning from tribal communities’ success stories: “Is it eccentric to live in beautiful scenery in the hills among some of the most charming people in the country?”

“Indigenous people are at the forefront of the struggle to save the planet”: Defending the guardians of nature

On one side are people who live in the wild places in the world, the forests, the highlands, the plains. They are indigenous people who, according to Western standards and norms, are the poorest and most isolated but who see … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, Commentary, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, Globalization, Misconceptions, Modernity, Networking, Press snippets, Quotes, Resources, Revival of traditions, Rural poverty, Tribal culture worldwide | Comments Off on “Indigenous people are at the forefront of the struggle to save the planet”: Defending the guardians of nature

ePub | Toda cultural history (Nilgiri) – Tamil Nadu

Until now, historians and anthropologists believed that Todas, a tribal group in the higher altitudes of the Nilgiris, reached there about 2,000 years ago. A new study by Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru researchers shows the community was already settled … Continue reading

Posted in Anthropology, Colonial policies, Crafts and visual arts, Customs, ePub, Figures, census and other statistics, History, Homes and utensils, Languages and linguistic heritage, Literature and bibliographies, Misconceptions, Museum collections - India, Names and communities, Nilgiri, Particularly vulnerable tribal group, Quotes, Tribal identity, Western Ghats - tribal heritage & ecology, Worship and rituals | Tagged | Comments Off on ePub | Toda cultural history (Nilgiri) – Tamil Nadu

Tip | “It is possible to finance tribal health care”: Recommendations by the Expert Committee on Tribal Health – Government of India

Though it has long been suspected that tribal people have poor health and unmet needs, health care for tribal people remained subsumed in rural health care. It was assumed that tribal people have same health problems, similar needs and hence … Continue reading

Posted in Commentary, ePub, Figures, census and other statistics, Gadchiroli, Government of India, Health and nutrition, Misconceptions, Organizations, Press snippets, Quotes, Resources, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Rural poverty, Tips, Women | Comments Off on Tip | “It is possible to finance tribal health care”: Recommendations by the Expert Committee on Tribal Health – Government of India

ePub | Forest of Tigers: People, Politics and Environment in the Sundarbans

FOREST OF TIGERS: PEOPLE, POLITICS AND ENVIRONMENT IN THE SUNDARBANSby Annu Jalais (Routledge India, 2009) Acclaimed for its unique ecosystem and Royal Bengal tigers, the mangrove islands that comprise the Sundarbans area of the Bengal delta are the setting for … Continue reading

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