Category Archives: Customs

“Despite this horrible oppression on them, the tribals of India have generally (though not invariably) retained a higher level of ethics than the non-tribals. They normally do not cheat or tell lies, or commit other misdeeds, which many non-tribals do. They are generally superior in character to non-tribals. It is time now to undo the historical injustice to them.” – Supreme Court judgment quoted in “India, largely a country of immigrants”, The Hindu (Comment), January 12, 2011
https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/article1081343.ece
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=4315

“The ethos [held up by parents and teachers at the Rolf Schoemb Vidyashram school] is one of community, with programmes devised and implemented by members of the community rather than by outsiders who might not be familiar with the strengths of and issues faced by local people.” – Santal educationist Boro Baski in “The Indian school where Indigenous children are ‘never outsiders” by Rosemary Marandi (Al Jazeera Education, 10 February 2020)
https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/indian-school-indigenous-children-outsiders-200128131128144.html
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=34790

“Tribals do not exploit other people’s labour for the sake of their own avarice, nor do they destroy nature to build monuments to the human ego.” – Ganesh Devy in Painted Words: An Anthology of Tribal Literature (Bhasha E Books)
http://www.bhashaebooks.org/Downloadbook.aspx?name=21
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=22979

“Many of the tribes have two distinct types of music, the ‘outdoor’ ensemble, which is often performed by members of a different tribe or a Hindu caste, and their own characteristic tribal songs. The outdoor ensemble is used at weddings and on festive occasions. It varies in size and structure, depending to some extent on the affluence of the tribe. The main instruments are the double-reed oboe-type, a straight, curved, or S-shaped horn, a variety of drums – kettle-shaped, cylindrical, or frame drums similar to the tambourine – and cymbals. The names of these instruments sometimes vary from one tribe to another, although it seems likely that they represent a common tradition.” – NA Jairazbhoy, “Tribal, Folk and Devotional Music” in: A Cultural History of India (London: Oxford University Press 1975)
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=3488

“They have never been subjected to casteism and hence dignity is something important for them. But they face the challenge of facing the modern world on a daily basis and feeling the need to belong to.” – Mari Marcel Thekaekara, writer and Co-founder of ACCORD-Nilgiris quoted in The Hindu (27 January 2017)
https://www.thehindu.com/society/A-messenger-from-the-mountains/article17102329.ece
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=22373

“We must remember that the Kondhs, many of whom live high up in the mountainous forests and call themselves Dongria Kondh, do not safeguard humanity with just their seeds. They do so with their food systems, their bond with the forests and wildlife, their belief system, social ways, and culture. Kondh society carries within it several lessons that can teach us about humanity itself.” – Aditi Pinto in “There will always be a seed for everyone” (The Hindu, 23 April 2017)
https://www.thehindu.com/society/there-will-always-be-a-seed-for-everyone/article18194781.ece
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=22300

“Native science” in food systems: A wide range of tribal processes of perceiving, thinking, acting, and ‘coming to know’’

Read the full paper by Sam Grey & Raj Patel with References here >> […] An intimate, long-term relationship with traditional territories also gives rise to Indigenous systems of governance, social organization, and science. Philosopher Gregory Cajete refers to this … Continue reading

Posted in Anthropology, Community facilities, Customs, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, Education and literacy, Ethnobotany, Forest Rights Act (FRA), Government of India, Health and nutrition, Literature and bibliographies, Nature and wildlife, Quotes, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Storytelling, Tribal identity, Women | Comments Off on “Native science” in food systems: A wide range of tribal processes of perceiving, thinking, acting, and ‘coming to know’’

Resources for the classroom: Learning from and about India’s tribal communities, their culture and knowledge systems

“[I]t is some of the basic values and ideology imbibed in the traditional tribal socio-cultural milieus that should have been emulated and promoted amongst the non-tribal mainstream, not, as has been going on, the other way round.” Source: ’Who Is … Continue reading

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Jun Beel Mela: A fair “maintaining cordial relations among the tribes and non-tribes” (January) – Assam & Meghalaya

Photo Gallery: https://www.indiaculture.nic.in/photo-gallery/964 The Jun Beel Mela is a centuries-old traditional fair which seems to be a virtual wonder in its own right. The most striking feature of this historic fair is that it has been keeping alive the age-old … Continue reading

Posted in Customs, Government of India, History, Names and communities, Photos and slideshows, Revival of traditions, Seasons and festivals, Seven Sister States, Storytelling, Worship and rituals | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Jun Beel Mela: A fair “maintaining cordial relations among the tribes and non-tribes” (January) – Assam & Meghalaya

“Woodsmoke and Leafcups”: A book that opens up the full joy of tribal life without romanticisation – Bastar

Woodsmoke and Leafcups; Madhu Ramnath, Harper Litmus, Rs.399. Felix Padel, The Hindu, March 12, 2016 | To read the full article, click here >> The full joy of tribal life opens up in these pages. As do the painful struggles under the exploitative … Continue reading

Posted in Adivasi / Adibasi, Anthropology, Bastar, Central region, Crafts and visual arts, Customs, Ecology and environment, Figures, census and other statistics, Forest Rights Act (FRA), Gandhian social movement, Government of India, Health and nutrition, History, Literature and bibliographies, Modernity, Names and communities, Nature and wildlife, Photos and slideshows, Press snippets, Quotes, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Rural poverty, Storytelling, Tips, Tribal elders | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on “Woodsmoke and Leafcups”: A book that opens up the full joy of tribal life without romanticisation – Bastar

India’s tribal, folk and devotional music: Secular and ceremonial songs – An overview

“Tribal, Folk and Devotional Music” by NA Jairazbhoy in AL Basham (ed.). A Cultural History of India. London: Oxford University Press, 1975, pp. 234-237. Excerpt from Chapter XVI Music (pp. 212-242) TRIBAL, FOLK, AND DEVOTIONAL MUSIC Classical music is the most refined … Continue reading

Posted in Adivasi / Adibasi, Anthropology, Audio resources - external, Cultural heritage, Customs, Figures, census and other statistics, History, Languages and linguistic heritage, Literature and bibliographies, Media portrayal, Misconceptions, Modernity, Music and dance, Musicology, Nilgiri, Performing arts, Quotes, Seasons and festivals, Seven Sister States, Storytelling, Tribal identity, Worship and rituals | Comments Off on India’s tribal, folk and devotional music: Secular and ceremonial songs – An overview