Category Archives: Customs

“We have a song for every situation. We feel money takes away from the enjoyment of life. But to earn a livelihood, people have to learn other languages.” – Santal teacher Pada Murmu interviewed by Nandini Nair (OPEN Magazine, 13 January 2017)
https://openthemagazine.com/features/dispatch/santali-talking-time/
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=21581

“We regard birth as arrival upon the earth and offer our thanks by holding a special bhumi puja. For marriage, guardians from the boy’s side visit the girl’s place for negotiations, and there is no practice of dowry and ’tilak’. – Sarna ‘dharamguru’ Bandhan Tigga quoted by Rabindra Nath Sinha in “Tribal Outfits Gearing up to Restart Stir on Sarna Religious Code Issue” (Newsclick.in, 15 September 2022)
https://www.newsclick.in/tribal-outfits-gearing-restart-sarna-religious-code-issue
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=22095

“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 [G.N.] 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

“Every Adivasi society was/is governed by its own social organization and institutions. These institutions, linked to biological resource management, were governed by religious myth and socio-cultural belief system.” – Nirmal Mahato (University of Gour Banga) in “Adivasi (Indigenous people) Perception of Landscape: The Case of Manbhum”, Journal of Adivasi and Indigenous Studies (JAIS), Vol. II, No.1, February 2015, pp. 52-53
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/315799935
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=5844

“Boys and men have a dormitory club in the village called Moshup and, in some villages, the girls have a separate club called Raseng. These dormitories used to be where young Adi would learn about their traditions and duties, but most children now attend government schools. The curriculum they study ignores the intricacies of tribal knowledge and culture, and this is having an increasing impact on the self-esteem and identity of the young Adis. Today, few young Adi want to work in the fields in the same way as previous generations.” – The Adi, BBC2 (Archived 29 October 2014)
https://www.bbc.co.uk/tribe/tribes/adi/
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=12568

“We don’t have boundaries for collecting tubers or fish but if people from one village are going to another village to collect anything from the forest, they will inform their relatives in that village and go only with them.” – Wildlife conservationist Ramesh in “Bomman thatha and his forest”, a conversation with his grandfather on “bonding between adivasi people and the forest” (At the Edge of Existence, 29 October 2014)
https://cultureandconservation.wordpress.com/2014/10/29/bomman-thatha-and-his-forest/
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=8262

“[T]ribal religions and customary laws are as relevant as organised religions and institutionalised laws in modern society.” – Subhadra Mitra Channa in Anthropological Perspectives on Indian Tribes, quoted by 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=6911

“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

“The traditional ‘school’ of the tribal in Bastar was in the ghotul [learning centre]. The best of what is in tribal culture owes to the ghotul. However, under the influence of the new education, the ghotul has suffered a systematic disintegration.” – Uma Ram (Professor & Head Department of English, Kakatiya PG College, Chhattisgarh) in Issues in Tribal Education in Bastar, Chhattisgarh (Folklore Foundation, Lokaratna, Volume IV 2011)
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=14683

“[W]ithin a patriarchal society, women are infantilised and husbands are later given the ‘obligatory’ role of a disciplinarian.” – Poet and writer Meena Kandasamy quoted in “No safe haven for women at home” (The Hindu, 17 April 2022)
https://www.thehindu.com/
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=16376

“Sati [ritualized self-immolation by a widow] was likely alien to the Harappans, but in the mixed culture that arose later, it gained a foothold among the various elites and became part of the Indo-Aryan cultural legacy in the subcontinent.” – Namit Arora in Indians: A Brief History of a Civilization (Gurgaon: Penguin/Viking, 2021)), p. 37
https://worldcat.org/en/title/1235947581
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=5629

“The development of patriarchal society goes together with the development of private property.” – Social psychologist Erich Fromm in The Art of Loving (New York: Harper & Row, 1956), p. 66
https://archive.org/details/TheArtOfLoving/page/n80/mode/1up
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=31882

“Brought up in a system in which all communications are by word of mouth, and hence used to trusting verbal statements, [tribal populations] get confused by constant reference to documents and written rules, which increasingly determine all aspects of rural life.” – Christoph von Fürer-Haimendorf in Tribes of India: The Struggle for Survival (University of California Press, 1982), pp. 320-1
https://himalaya.socanth.cam.ac.uk/collections/rarebooks/downloads/Haimendorf_Tribes_of_India.pdf
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=12724

“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, 12 January 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

“[C]aste is not a residual variable, but is an active agent which stifles economic transformation.“ – A. Kalai­yarasan (As­sis­tant Pro­fes­sor at the Madras In­sti­tute of De­vel­op­ment Stud­ies and non-res­i­dent fel­low at the Cen­ter for Con­tem­po­rary South Asia, Brown Univer­sity) in “The role of caste in economic transformation“ (The Hindu, 23 June 2022)
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=7686

“Probably caste was neither Aryan nor Dravidian [and] it is still a burden and a curse.” – Jawaharlal Nehru in The Discovery Of India (1946, OUP Centenary ed. 1989, pp. 86-87)
https://archive.org/details/in.ernet.dli.2015.98835
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=17554

“Neither music, nor prayer, nor fasting was able to heal the scars of a wounded civilization or to arrest its fall into an abyss of communal hatred, caste exclusion and political opportunism.” – Historian Lakshmi Subramanian in Singing Gandhi’s India: Music and Sonic Nationalism (New Delhi: Roli Books 2020), p. 189
https://www.worldcat.org/title/1139768131
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=26089

“Caste is – and is not – class. It is class insofar as it determines class position for most Indians. It is not class insofar as it inhibits class mobilization across castes.” – Shashank Kela in “A party of the poor?” (india-seminar.com, Caste Matters, May 2012)
https://www.india-seminar.com/2012/633.htm
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=11674

“Unless the successors of Nehru can teach ‘mainstream’ society to respect the different methods of the tribal people and devise ways of controlling the process of cultural desecration, mere economic development will not prevent the alienation of tribal communities.” – 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=17554

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

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

Audio | The Muskoka Summit on the Environment – Canada

Restoring our relationship with nature from lake beds to treetops Indigenous peoples have all around the world have principles and values that we can learn from, that will help us to understand what our responsibility is here. (9:33) What’s emerging … Continue reading

Posted in Adverse inclusion, Biodiversity, Colonial policies, Commentary, Community facilities, Customs, Democracy, Ecology and environment, Education and literacy, Globalization, Health and nutrition, Misconceptions, Nature and wildlife, Networking, Quotes, Revival of traditions, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Success story, Tips, Trees, Tribal culture worldwide, Tribal identity, Women | Comments Off on Audio | The Muskoka Summit on the Environment – Canada

Video | Professor James Anaya: Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples – United Nations Human Rights Council

James Anaya – Regents’ Professor U Arizona James Anaya is a Regents Professor and the James J. Lenoir Professor of Human Rights Law and Policy at the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law (USA), where he teaches … Continue reading

More galleries | Comments Off on Video | Professor James Anaya: Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples – United Nations Human Rights Council