Category Archives: Tribal identity

“While benefiting from affirmative action in some cases, Adivasis or indigenous people in India also feel the claustrophobic confines of their identity which has been imposed on them by others, be it the colonial administrator, the colonial anthropologist, the missionary or the neo-liberal, neo-imperialist forces that rule global economy today.” – Santali poet, scholar and translator Ivy Imogene Hansdak  in “Is tribal identity relevant in today’s world?”, Inaugural Speech, National Conference “Tribes In Transition-II: Reaffirming Indigenous Identity Through Narrative” (2017)
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=23032

“We realise that the only way a culture gets conserved is when it is promoted. […] We have decided that as and when such information is gathered we would immediately introduce them into the curriculum at the various levels.” – Culture Centre (Viswa Bharathi Vidyodaya Trust, Nilgiri)
https://www.vidyodaya.org/vbvt/culture/
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=1921

“Adivasis do not need an education [in boarding or ‘factory schools’] to understand the rights over one’s own lands, forests and territories, which they imbibe growing up in their community itself.” – Adivasi leader Soni Sori from Bastar, Chhattisgarh quoted by Goldy M. George in “Adivasis Protest Awarding of World Congress of Anthropology 2023 to KISS” (Forward Press, 23 July 2020), p. 4
https://www.academia.edu/43929808/
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=20406

“Nehru built up a relationship with tribals based on sympathy, affection and sincerity. [He] declared ‘you should live in your own way. This is what I want you to decide yourselves … your old customs and habits are good. We want that they should survive but at the same time we want that you should be educated and should do your part in the welfare of our country’.” – Chittaranjan Mishra in “Tribal Philosophy and Pandit Nehru”
https://magazines.odisha.gov.in/Orissareview/2017/November/engpdf/100-110.pdf
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=16310

“Jawaharlal Nehru was among the few people who understood Elwin’s belief that tribal society must be allowed to evolve in its own distinctive manner and its culture must not be violated. Elwin was for a long time his major adviser on tribal affairs. Not that Nehru was altogether able to prevent the exploitation of tribals and the violation of their culture; but at least he kept it in some check.” – Guest Column titled “Hands off tribal culture” (India Today, 9 January 2014)
https://www.indiatoday.in/magazine/guest-column/story/19800915-hands-off-tribal-culture-821415-2014-01-09
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=15861

“For strategic planners, forests are ‘an administrative category implying a desired land use’ whether or not trees are included, but it is useful in making claims to ‘extend the control of the forest service’. […] To tribal people, forests involve habitat and identity and are thus inseparably linked to their lives and livelihoods. Because of this reality, several inter-disciplinarians see forests as something linked to human rights for indigenous communities.” – Rebecca S . David in “An analysis of the impact of the Forest Rights Act (2006) in three states of India” (MPhil University of Cambridge, UK, 2014), p. 1
https://www.academia.edu/30648733/
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=27254

“The socio-political mainstream [is] unaccustomed to accept them as civilized human being, tries to subjugate them. They agree to accept non-tribal intellectuals at the cost of betrayal to their self-identity.’ – Teresa Tudu in “Tribal Literature: Santhals and their Cultural Anxiety”, National Conference “Tribes In Transition-II: Reaffirming Indigenous Identity Through Narrative” (2017)
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=23277

“The word “tribe” itself, in fact, has always been a contentious term. Due to the lack of an adequate term, indigenous people chose to adopt it to identify their place in the world. The narrative is changing today. […] Tribes are people with a functional social order, culture, customs, cosmology and metaphysics. They must be treated as any other contemporary people.” – 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=2261

Video | Marriage customs of the Santals: A large mural created by village artists to express their cultural identity – West Bengal

Marriage Reception A Santal marriage takes five days and involves various, often complex, rituals. On the day of the Gidi-chumara (Marriage Reception) the women arrive to bless the bride and groom with grass and grains of rice which are kept … Continue reading

Posted in Adivasi / Adibasi, Community facilities, Crafts and visual arts, Cultural heritage, Customs, Eastern region – Eastern Zonal Council, Education and literacy, Literature and bibliographies, Museum collections - India, Music and dance, Names and communities, Organizations, Photos and slideshows, Quotes, Revival of traditions, Santal Parganas, Santali language and literature, Seasons and festivals, Storytelling, Tagore and rural culture, Tourism, Trees, Video resources - external, Women | Tagged | Comments Off on Video | Marriage customs of the Santals: A large mural created by village artists to express their cultural identity – West Bengal

Marlavai Training Centre – model for present day education of tribal people – Andhra Pradesh

Marlavai village in Jainoor mandal of Adilabad district was not this sleepy when Austrian anthropologist Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf was at work during the decade of 1940. He had launched his pioneering experiment in education of tribal people at this village. … Continue reading

Posted in De- and re-tribalisation, Education and literacy, Figures, census and other statistics, Gandhian social movement, Government of India, History, Languages and linguistic heritage, Literature and bibliographies, Modernity, Names and communities, Organizations, Photos and slideshows, Press snippets, Women | Tagged | Comments Off on Marlavai Training Centre – model for present day education of tribal people – Andhra Pradesh

Sharing valuable rice varieties with farmers: Biodiversity for the sake of “vital nutrients and the ability to withstand flood, drought, salinity or pest infestations” – Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha Maharashtra & West Bengal

IN BRIEF India originally possessed some 110,000 landraces of rice with diverse and valuable properties. These include enrichment in vital nutrients and the ability to withstand flood, drought, salinity or pest infestations. The Green Revolution covered fields with a few … Continue reading

Posted in Assimilation, Biodiversity, Customs, Eastern region – Eastern Zonal Council, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, Education and literacy, Ethnobotany and ethnomedicine, Figures, census and other statistics, Health and nutrition, Modernity, Names and communities, Nature and wildlife, Organizations, Press snippets, Quotes, Resources, Success story, Women | Tagged | Comments Off on Sharing valuable rice varieties with farmers: Biodiversity for the sake of “vital nutrients and the ability to withstand flood, drought, salinity or pest infestations” – Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha Maharashtra & West Bengal

Garo Drums: Symbols associated with specific regions and social occasions – Meghalaya, Assam, Tripura, Nagaland, West Bengal & Bangladesh

Garos are a tribal group from Meghalaya, predominantly residing in the Garo Hills region. Though found in the three (now five) Garo Hills districts, they also reside in the adjoining states of Assam, Tripura, Nagaland, and West Bengal in the … Continue reading

Posted in Crafts and visual arts, Customs, Economy and development, Government of India, Music and dance, Musicology, Names and communities, Performing arts, Quotes, Revival of traditions, Seven Sister States & Sikkim – North Eastern Council, Social conventions | Tagged | Comments Off on Garo Drums: Symbols associated with specific regions and social occasions – Meghalaya, Assam, Tripura, Nagaland, West Bengal & Bangladesh

Tip | Which are India’s endangered languages? (interactive map)

India’s endangered languages “Kolami, Koya, Gondi, Kuvi, Kui, Yerukala, Savara, Parji, Kupia. Do these names ring a bell? No, right? They are all native tribal tongues that have immensely contributed to enrich the language and culture of Telugu people. But … Continue reading

Posted in Education and literacy, Endangered language, FAQ, Figures, census and other statistics, Government of India, Languages and linguistic heritage, Names and communities, Nature and wildlife, Organizations, Press snippets, Resources, Rural poverty, Tips, Tribal identity | Comments Off on Tip | Which are India’s endangered languages? (interactive map)