Category Archives: Worship and rituals

“There is no idol worship” – Poovadevi explaining her tradition in “Toda community forays into reviving traditional art” (Deccan Herald, 15 July 2011)
https://www.deccanherald.com/content/176591/toda-community-forays-reviving-traditional.html
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=4855

“All the tribals in the country have been following many different religions like Gondi, Koya Punem, Adi, Sarna, etc. However, none of them have been recognised. The government should provide a separate code for tribal religion so that their identity can be preserved. […] No matter which community we belong to, we will follow our beliefs, customs, deities, rituals, culture, in our own way.” – Satyanarayan Singh, Tribal activist from Bihar, quoted by Santoshi Markam in TheWire.in (2 April 2019)
https://thewire.in/rights/adivasi-religion-recognition-census
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=11009

“Adivasi concerns caste while Sarna is about religious affinity. Tribals across the country for decades have been fighting for religious identity in the form of a separate code in the census.” – Jharkhand tribal lawmaker Bandhu Tirkey on his opposition to a so-called “Sarna/Adivasi” code during a Jharkhand special Assembly session, reported in “It’s Sarna, not adivasi, code for tribals” (Telegraph Ranchi, 8 November 2020)
https://www.telegraphindia.com/jharkhand/its-sarna-not-adivasi-code-for-tribals-bandhu-tirkey/cid/1796860
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=11009

“Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Dalits and Adivasis are all equal citizens [as guaranteed by the Indian constitution]. All citizens have the right to debate and discuss their duties towards the state and also the obligations of the state to ensure that the claims to human rights of all citizens are met by the state to an equal degree.” – Romila Thapar (Emeritus Professor of History, Jawaharlal Nehru University) quoted in “Nationalism does not allow the Hindu in India to claim primacy” by Ziya Us Salam (The Hindu, 2 March 2016)
https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/historian-romila-thapar-says-nationalism-does-not-allow-the-hindu-in-india-to-claim-primacy/article8300752.ece
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=20996

“To relieve themselves from poverty, illiteracy, shamans, exorcisers, witch-hunting, to impart modern education to their children, many Santals have voluntarily converted to Christianity.” – Santal educationist Boro Baski in “Discussion is the Need of the Hour, Not Banning”
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=22844

“The religion [Tagore] preached was the religion of man, the renunciation he extolled was not of this world but of the base passions of cupidity and hatred, the freedom he fought for was not of one people to exploit another but the freedom of the human personality from all that strangles it, whether it be the tyranny of an external organization or the worse tyranny of man’s own blind ego and lust for power.” – Krishna Kripalani in Rabindranath Tagore: A Biography (Oxford University Press 1962, reprint Santiniketan 1980)
https://archive.org/stream/in.ernet.dli.2015.39366/2015.39366.Rabindranath-Tagore—A-Biography_djvu.txt
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=4348

“Whether it is Koya Punem, Adi, Sarna, or any other, they all believe in aboriginal philosophy.” – Aakash Poyam, Researcher and founder editor of Adivasi Resurgence, quoted by Santoshi Markam in TheWire.in (2 April 2019)
https://thewire.in/rights/adivasi-religion-recognition-census
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=11009

“Indian culture does not represent one particular religion or cultural trait. It is an assimilation of various cultural traits; it is syncretic in nature.” – Suranjan Das, Vice-Chancellor of Jadavpur University Kolkata (The Telegraph, 30 September 2020)
https://www.telegraphindia.com/west-bengal/calcutta/the-relevance-of-vidyasagar/cid/1793177
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=35639

“[T]he approach to understand ‘tribe/tribal’ within the social structure of Hinduism is doomed to fail because the religion is itself a conglomeration of various schools of thought, often contradictory to each other.” – Pradyumna Bag in “Denial of Differences: Examining the Marginalisation of Tribal Cultures and Languages” (“Tribes In Transition” conference 2017)
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=23073

“The Bhils of the area [remote tribal villages in northern Maharashtra] practiced their own unique religion, a form of animism and ancestor worship with a heavy dose of magic. But it was clear even at that time that their ancient religious tradition would soon disappear: many Bhils in the area had become devotees of wandering Hindu sadhus and Christian missionaries. Soon, their religious tradition would be looked down by others as ‘primitive’.” – Yoginder Sikand in “Simple ways of life” (Deccan Herald, 23 December 2012)
Address : https://www.deccanherald.com/content/300193/simple-ways-life.html
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=10420

“Interventions intending to impose religion onto tribes have attempted to assimilate them into mainstream society by diluting their uniqueness. For tribes, the links between culture and religion are integral to shaping their ways of life.” – Richard Kamei (doctoral candidate at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai) in “Uncivilising the Mind: How anthropology shaped the discourse on tribes in India” (Caravan Magazine, 1 March 2020)
https://caravanmagazine.in/books/anthropologists-tribes-india
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=22844

“The Santals are non-idol worshipping theist people. They have no temples, nor images to worship and no fixed place to worship in; no holy mountains and no sacred drivers for pilgrimages and yet they hold an unassailable religious faith which can be traced through the tradition of the creation narrative, through their festivals, their cleansing ceremonies performed during their birth, wedding, and death, and through their belief in the continuation of life after death.” – Writer, editor, singer-musician, and songwriter Timotheas Hembrom in The Santal and the Biblical Creation Traditions: Anthropological & Theological Reflections – a work “on a group of people, whose faith declaration of creator-creation relationship, as expressed through their ancestral creation narrative, is compared and discussed with that of the Biblical one” (Adivaani, Kolkata 2013)
https://adivaani.org/2013/10/07/timotheas-hembroms-new-book-is-out/
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=13041

“All subjects will thus be equal in the eyes of the law. But every single individual will be free to pursue his own religion without hindrance, so long as it does not transgress the common law. The question of the ‘protection of minorities’ is not good for me; it rests upon the recognition of religious groupings between citizens of the same state. What I wish India to do is to assure liberty of religious profession to every single individual. Then only India can be great, for it was perhaps the one nation in the ancient world which had recognized cultural democracy, whereby it is held that the roads to God are many, but the goal is one, because God is one and the same. In fact the roads are as many as there are individuals in the world.” – Mohandas Karamachand Gandhi in Harijan (31 August 1947); quoted by Vinay Lal (Professor of History & Asian American Studies, University of California, Los Angeles UCLA) in “Gandhi, Secularism, and Cultural Democracy” (2 October 2020)
https://vinaylal.wordpress.com/2020/10/02/gandhi-secularism-and-cultural-democracy/
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=20996

“If the tribal gods are comfortable on the trees, let them be…why make them a Hindu?” – Niranjan Mahawar, author of a book titled Bastar Bronze, interviewed by Suvojit Bagchi (The Hindu, 24 October 2012)
https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/interview/i-have-a-problem-with-the-makeover-of-tribal-culture/article4026265.ece
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=16409

Learn more about tribal communities in Madhya Pradesh

When it comes to protein and calorie counts, milk and bananas do not match up to eggs, particularly for [Madhya Pradesh], where development indicators are among India’s worst: Almost 51% of children under five years of age are underweight, and … Continue reading

Posted in Adverse inclusion, Anthropology, Archaeology, Central region – Central Zonal Council, Childhood and children, Community facilities, Crafts and visual arts, Cultural heritage, Democracy, Eco tourism, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, Education and literacy, Ekalavya (Eklavya, Eklabya), EMR & Factory schools, Endangered language, Figures, census and other statistics, Forest Rights Act (FRA), Government of India, Health and nutrition, History, Languages and linguistic heritage, Literature and bibliographies, Multi-lingual education, Museum collections - India, Music and dance, Narmada, Organizations, Particularly vulnerable tribal group, Resources, Revival of traditions, Seasons and festivals, Tips, Tourism, Women, Worship and rituals | Tagged , | Comments Off on Learn more about tribal communities in Madhya Pradesh

Pulayar community – Kerala, Karnataka & Tamil Nadu

The Pulayar, also Pulaya, or Pulayas or Holeya or Cheramar, are one of the main social groups found in Kerala, Karnataka and in historical Tamil Nadu or Tamilakam Traditions Their marriage rituals were described by Edgar Thurston. Nowadays many of … Continue reading

Posted in Assimilation, Crafts and visual arts, Cultural heritage, Customs, Names and communities, Performing arts, Quotes, Southern region – Southern Zonal Council, Western Ghats - tribal heritage & ecology, Worship and rituals | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Pulayar community – Kerala, Karnataka & Tamil Nadu

Understanding the challenges faced by Adivasi Society: “We will follow our beliefs, customs, deities, rituals, culture, in our own way”

Bandhu Tirkey, a tribal lawmaker of the ruling JMM-Congress-RJD alliance has spoken out against the government’s move to introduce a “Sarna/Adivasi” code, as opposed to only a “Sarna” code, in the special Assembly session on November 11, stating that any … Continue reading

Posted in Adivasi / Adibasi, Adverse inclusion, Democracy, Government of India, History, Misconceptions, Networking, Organizations, Quotes, Tribal culture worldwide, Tribal identity, Worship and rituals | Comments Off on Understanding the challenges faced by Adivasi Society: “We will follow our beliefs, customs, deities, rituals, culture, in our own way”

eBook | “That pride must never allow us to forget our many weakness and failings or blunt our longing to be rid of them” (Jawaharlal Nehru): Museums in the service of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace: International Museum Day (18 May)

https://archive.org/details/in.ernet.dli.2015.98835 In his book, The Discovery of India, Nehru wrote, long before 1947, about the difficulties regarding uniting people with diverse languages, religions and cultural values. At the same time, as a historian, he could sketch the unifying forces which … Continue reading

Posted in Anthropology, Colonial policies, Community facilities, Cultural heritage, Customs, Democracy, eBook & eJournal, Education and literacy, Government of India, History, Modernity, Museum collections - general, Museum collections - India, Networking, Organizations, Press snippets, Quotes, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Seasons and festivals, Success story, Tips, Tribal culture worldwide, Tribal identity, Worship and rituals | Comments Off on eBook | “That pride must never allow us to forget our many weakness and failings or blunt our longing to be rid of them” (Jawaharlal Nehru): Museums in the service of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace: International Museum Day (18 May)

“Kocharethi calls upon us to ethically engage with it, to question our complicity” – First novel by an adivasi in Kerala

To read the full book review by Pramod K. Nayar, click here >> Narayan, Kerala’s first tribal novelist, avoids romanticising his milieu. Kocharethi is about the hidden poetry of marginal lives… The temptation to exoticise cultures that have not been … Continue reading

Posted in Adivasi / Adibasi, Anthropology, Childhood and children, Colonial policies, Customs, Health and nutrition, History, Literature - fiction, Media portrayal, Misconceptions, Modernity, Names and communities, Particularly vulnerable tribal group, Press snippets, Southern region – Southern Zonal Council, Storytelling, Tribal elders, Tribal identity, Western Ghats - tribal heritage & ecology, Women, Worship and rituals | Tagged | Comments Off on “Kocharethi calls upon us to ethically engage with it, to question our complicity” – First novel by an adivasi in Kerala