Category Archives: Women

“[T]here is no social bias against women in tribal communities such as there exists among the middle castes, especially landed ones. Women can ask for a divorce, and in many communities, money is paid to the girl’s family at the time of marriage.” – Abhay Bang, the award-winning doctor and social activist from Gadchiroli in Maharashtra quoted by S. Rukmini in “Higher sex ratio among tribal, SC groups: census” (The Hindu, 31 October 2013)
https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/higher-sex-ratio-among-tribal-sc-groups-census/article5300478.ece
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=22068

“The general trend in the ‘civilized’ perception of tribal nudity alternates between a scathing denunciation and a romantic glorification. By contrast, Mahasweta Devi’s treatment of tribal nudity is deromanticizing. Sometimes, this nakedness becomes a trope of empowerment for the tribal woman, as in her short story ‘Draupadi’. So Draupadi, the victim of multiple rapes, retaliates by remaining publicly naked and thereby intimidates the Senanayak.” – Ivy Imogene Hansdak in “Narrativizing Resistance: Mahasweta Devi’s Representation of the Tribal Guerrilla” (The Johar Journal, Issue 01, July-Dec 2020)
https://joharjournal.org/narrativizing-resistance-mahasweta-devis-representation-of-the-tribal-guerrilla/
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=20733

“It’s high time we recognise the contributions of tribal women in Indian literature.” – Devendra Kumar Devesh of Sahitya Akademi on the occasion of a two-day meet organised by Sahitya Akademi in association with Jharkhandi Bhasha Sahitya Sanskriti Akhra to commemorate the birth centenary of Alice Ekka, the country’s first acclaimed woman tribal writer (The Telegraph, Jharkhand, 8 September 2017)
https://www.telegraphindia.com/1170908/jsp/jharkhand/story_171464.jsp
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=22856

“Women’s rights are human rights. But in these troubled times, as our world becomes more unpredictable and chaotic, the rights of women and girls are being reduced, restricted and reversed. Empowering women and girls is the only way to protect their rights and make sure they can realize their full potential.” – UN Secretary-General’s Message for International Women’s Day 2017
https://www.unwomen.org/en/news/stories/2017/3/statement-sg-international-womens-day-2017
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=21750

“The Irula Tribal Women’s Welfare Society (ITWWS), established in 1986, is a women’s community-based development organization […] using the Irula tribal knowledge of forest resources for economic prosperity.” – The Times of India (“Irula’s tribal secrets unraveled”, 29 March 2005)
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1064853.cms
Watch a video by Praise Foundation on the manner in which the Irula Tribal Women’s Welfare Society empowers Irula women by promoting their medicinal products: “This revival of traditional healing systems addresses public health needs as well as conserves Irula culture and expertise.”
https://youtu.be/hc1lK1vIKNY
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=16322

“Every village [in Bastar] has its own ‘super-woman’, a plant collector par excellence, in whose house one inevitably finds unusual foods.” – Madhu Ramnath in “Within the world of food collection” (india-seminar.com, Contested Cultures, February 2018)
www.india-seminar.com/2018/702/702_madhu_ramnath.htm
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=24941

“Tracing the rise of patriarchy to class-based ‘civilisations’ and the diminishing role of women in such societies, Chris Harman, in his book ‘A People’s History of the World’, says in hunter-gatherer societies, there was no male supremacy over women as there was almost always a division of labour between the sexes, with the men doing most of the hunting and the women most of the gathering. […] Today, when most societies consider themselves highly advanced compared with our ‘barbaric’ ancestors, the position of women in society has changed little.” – Cover story “Women in India: A reality check”, Frontline Magazine (January 25, 2013) 
http://www.frontline.in/cover-story/women-in-india-a-reality-check/article4275963.ece
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=18066

“Piplantri has turned almost into an oasis and it is surrounded by a large number of trees. ‘My daughter is seven years now. I have seen these trees and my daughter grow up together. Initially, not all villagers agreed to follow the idea of planting 111 saplings. Now, it’s no less than any ritual in our village,’ said Shantu Bhil, a tribal from Piplantri village. Another resident of Piplantri village said that it was for the first time he decided to bring up his daughter just like a son. Despite being a school teacher he never sent his daughter to a school.” – Abhishek Gaur in “Eco-feminism drive wins accolades” (Deccan Herald, 5 April 2015)
https://www.deccanherald.com/content/469775/eco-feminism-drive-wins-accolades.html
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=19376

The unique narrative of shawls worn among 16 major tribes: Reflecting one’s social standing and the younger generation’s changing tastes – Nagaland

ANTHONY KURIAKOSE narrates how each Naga shawl is a thing of beauty, mystery, history and eternal appeal. And how each shawl wraps in its folds, a unique narrative. In the textile history of  India, the warrior shawls of  Nagaland have … Continue reading

Posted in Crafts and visual arts, Customs, Dress and ornaments, Fashion and design, Figures, census and other statistics, Government of India, History, Modernity, Names and communities, Organizations, Photos and slideshows, Press snippets, Revival of traditions, Seasons and festivals, Seven Sister States & Sikkim – North Eastern Council, Storytelling, Tribal elders, Women, Worship and rituals | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on The unique narrative of shawls worn among 16 major tribes: Reflecting one’s social standing and the younger generation’s changing tastes – Nagaland

“I feel that you are a part of me and I will never forget you”: Tribal elder in a travel account by historian Runoko Rashidi – Looking at India through African Eyes

As I am now in the process of completing the finishing touches on a French language collection of my essays on the African presence in Asia I find myself reviewing and evaluating the body of work that I have been … Continue reading

Posted in Anthropology, Commentary, Customs, History, Names and communities, Networking, Quotes, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Rural poverty, Social conventions, Storytelling, Success story, Tribal culture worldwide, Tribal elders, Women | Tagged | Comments Off on “I feel that you are a part of me and I will never forget you”: Tribal elder in a travel account by historian Runoko Rashidi – Looking at India through African Eyes

Toda cultural heritage and education: Nilgiri mountains – Tamil Nadu

A visit to the Toda hamlet known as Taranadmund near Ooty makes it clear that for the Toda community, cultural heritage is part of everyday life and worship. The local economy continues to involve buffalo rearing. As the Tamil Nadu … Continue reading

Posted in Assimilation, Crafts and visual arts, Democracy, Dress and ornaments, Education and literacy, Gandhian social movement, Government of India, Homes and utensils, Modernity, Names and communities, Nilgiri, Organizations, Photos and slideshows, Quotes, Revival of traditions, Southern region – Southern Zonal Council, Tourism, Tribal elders, Western Ghats - tribal heritage & ecology, Women, Worship and rituals | Tagged , | Comments Off on Toda cultural heritage and education: Nilgiri mountains – Tamil Nadu

Shyamali Khastgir: Artist and activist in the footsteps of Gandhi and Tagore “using creativity in a positive way” – West Bengal

Shyamali Khastgir, June 23 1940 – August 15 2011 Shyamali Khastgir, who died on Independence Day 2011 after suffering an earlier stroke, transmitted her passion for life most expressively through her eyes. Her look was direct, searching and was described … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, Childhood and children, Education and literacy, Gandhian social movement, Health and nutrition, Media portrayal, Modernity, Press snippets, Puppetry, Quotes, Storytelling, Tagore and rural culture, Women | Comments Off on Shyamali Khastgir: Artist and activist in the footsteps of Gandhi and Tagore “using creativity in a positive way” – West Bengal

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, Seasons and festivals, Storytelling, Tagore and rural culture, Tourism, Trees, Women | Tagged | Comments Off on Marriage customs of the Santals: A large mural created by village artists to express their cultural identity – West Bengal