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

eBook | “Painted Words”: An Anthology edited by Prof Ganesh Devy – Tribal Literature from all over India

“It is almost impossible to characterize all of India’s tribals in a single ethnographic or historic framework. […] After Independence, these communities were ‘denotified’ and placed quite randomly in the schedules of tribes, castes and other ‘backward communities’. Yet anyone … Continue reading

Posted in Colonial policies, Cultural heritage, De- and re-tribalisation, eBook & eJournal, Economy and development, Endangered language, Government of India, History, Languages and linguistic heritage, Literature - fiction, Literature and bibliographies, Misconceptions, Organizations, Particularly vulnerable tribal group, Quotes, Regions of India, Storytelling, Success story, Tribal identity | Comments Off on eBook | “Painted Words”: An Anthology edited by Prof Ganesh Devy – Tribal Literature from all over India

Cultural invisibility – India’s 600 potentially endangered languages

Literacy level among women in India being alarmingly low, it will be necessary to expand our school education system so as to introduce and include as many languages as possible, so that the girl children are educated in their own … Continue reading

Posted in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Assimilation, Childhood and children, Community facilities, Constitution and Supreme Court, Democracy, Education and literacy, Endangered language, Figures, census and other statistics, Government of India, Languages and linguistic heritage, Misconceptions, Modernity, Multi-lingual education, Names and communities, Organizations, Press snippets, Revival of traditions, Seven Sister States & Sikkim – North Eastern Council, Storytelling, Tribal identity, Women | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Cultural invisibility – India’s 600 potentially endangered languages

Adivasi rice beer – ceremonial drinking vs bondage caused by strong liquor

Adivasis and alcohol Historically, ‘pioneers’ of ‘civilized’ dominant (‘mainstream’ is politically incorrect) society have used alcohol to enslave and destroy the indigenous communities they invaded. Like exploitative marauders, they credited themselves with finding ‘new’ lands, sweepingly declaring them Terra Nullis … Continue reading

Posted in Adivasi / Adibasi, Adverse inclusion, Anthropology, Childhood and children, Colonial policies, Customs, Health and nutrition, History, Misconceptions, Modernity, Nilgiri, Organizations, Press snippets, Rural poverty, Seven Sister States & Sikkim – North Eastern Council, Tribal identity, Video resources - external, Women, Worship and rituals | Comments Off on Adivasi rice beer – ceremonial drinking vs bondage caused by strong liquor

Articles on Adivasi culture in Folio Special issue

Ever since the Portuguese travel writers and missionaries decided to describe the vast variety of ethnic and occupational groups and sects of the Indian subcontinent in terms of “caste” and “tribe”, the terms have stuck to society as long-worn masks … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, Adivasi / Adibasi, Adverse inclusion, Anthropology, Archaeology, Assimilation, Childhood and children, Colonial policies, Commentary, Community facilities, Constitution and Supreme Court, Crafts and visual arts, Cultural heritage, Customs, Democracy, eBook & eJournal, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, Education and literacy, Endangered language, Government of India, Health and nutrition, History, Languages and linguistic heritage, Literature and bibliographies, Media portrayal, Misconceptions, Modernity, Names and communities, Nature and wildlife, Networking, Nilgiri, Organizations, Particularly vulnerable tribal group, Press snippets, Quotes, Regions of India, Revival of traditions, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Social conventions, Tips, Tribal elders, Western Ghats - tribal heritage & ecology, Women, Worship and rituals | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Articles on Adivasi culture in Folio Special issue

eBook & eJournal | Reaffirming Indigenous Identity Through Narrative: Conference report – New Delhi

Tribes In Transition-II: Reaffirming Indigenous Identity Through NarrativeReport for the ICSSR-sponsored Two-Day National Conference organised by The Department of English & Outreach Programme Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi on 27-28 February 2017 Read or download the full report (printfriendly PDF, … Continue reading

Posted in Adivasi / Adibasi, Adverse inclusion, Anthropology, Assimilation, Colonial policies, Commentary, Community facilities, Cultural heritage, eBook & eJournal, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, Education and literacy, Film, History, Languages and linguistic heritage, Literature and bibliographies, Media portrayal, Misconceptions, Modernity, Networking, Organizations, Quotes, Resources, Revival of traditions, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Storytelling, Tribal culture worldwide, Tribal identity, Wayanad | Comments Off on eBook & eJournal | Reaffirming Indigenous Identity Through Narrative: Conference report – New Delhi