Category Archives: Worship and rituals

“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

“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

“The religion of the Santals, which we see today, represents one of the most ancient religions. […] 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

“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

“[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

“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

“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

“Secularism in the sense of a respect for every faith inheres in every religion, and we would realise that if we had an open mind. Educational institutions have to become places where inter-religious understanding is nurtured as it must be in a place of sensitivity. When that happens, students will come upon the beauty in all faiths. If our schools and colleges help children hold on to those moments of splendour, we will create an entirely new generation that will push bigotry to the fringes where it belongs.” – singer, writer and social activist T.M Krishna in “Pushing bigotry to the margins:
The country’s educational institutions have to become places where inter-religious understanding is nurtured” (The Hindu, 20 August 2020)
https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/pushing-bigotry-to-the-margins/article32396791.ece

“If contemporary India is finding it so difficult and even offensive to swallow the idea of secularism, supposing it to be a foreign import from the West that colonized the country and still colonizes our imagination, might it find some succour in the idea of ‘cultural democracy’? It is perhaps time that we started thinking about how the language of “cultural democracy” [envisaged by Gandhi] could be harnessed to furnish all Indians, and especially aggrieved Hindus, with the assurance there is another way of forging a nation without shedding the past.” – 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=34387

“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

Learn more about tribal communities in Tamil Nadu

Posted in Anthropology, Bees and honey, Childhood and children, Community facilities, Customs, Democracy, Eco tourism, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, Education and literacy, Endangered language, Figures, census and other statistics, Forest Rights Act (FRA), Government of India, History, Literature and bibliographies, Maps, Multi-lingual education, Organizations, Particularly vulnerable tribal group, Revival of traditions, Seasons and festivals, Southern region, Success story, Tiger, Tips, Tourism, Tribal elders, Western Ghats - tribal heritage & ecology, Women, Worship and rituals | Comments Off on Learn more about tribal communities in Tamil Nadu

Wastewater snow would ruin a mountain considered sacred – Flagstaff (USA)

[R]ivers run through Navajo lands but the water is diverted to golf courses in Phoenix […] while natives lack legal rights to the water and can’t even get plumbing to wash their hands. Source: Janene Yazzie, a Navajo community organizer, … Continue reading

Posted in Commentary, Customs, Ecology and environment, Health and nutrition, Modernity, Names and communities, Nature and wildlife, Press snippets, Quotes, Tourism, Tribal culture worldwide, Worship and rituals | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Wastewater snow would ruin a mountain considered sacred – Flagstaff (USA)

Malayalam poetry to hitherto unexpressed human conditions: “The city’s late discovery of the forest” – Kerala

S Joseph, who introduced Malayalam poetry to hitherto unexpressed human conditions (Meenkaran, Mesthri, Kotta, Identity Card, Chila Irunda Idangal, Aana, Maruku, Pengalude Bible) with very ordinary, pared down words, has wandered through life’s mean streets to reach where he is today. Indeed, … Continue reading

Posted in Adivasi / Adibasi, Adverse inclusion, Crafts and visual arts, Customs, Education and literacy, Games and leisure time, Literature and bibliographies, Media portrayal, Misconceptions, Modernity, Music and dance, Names and communities, Nature and wildlife, Networking, Organizations, Poetry, Press snippets, Quotes, Revival of traditions, Storytelling, Tourism, Western Ghats - tribal heritage & ecology, Women, Worship and rituals | Tagged , | Comments Off on Malayalam poetry to hitherto unexpressed human conditions: “The city’s late discovery of the forest” – Kerala

Forest dwellers in early India – myths and ecology in historical perspective

By Romila Thapar, Emeritus Professor of History, Jawaharlal Nehru University  The hunt introduces us to the forest dwellers. These tended to be either creatures of the imagination such as the raksasas who are abundant, or else humans with supernatural faculties. Raksasas have … Continue reading

Posted in Bees and honey, Customs, De- and re-tribalisation, Ecology and environment, Elephant, History, Literature and bibliographies, Maps, Misconceptions, Nature and wildlife, Quotes, Resources, Sacred grove, Storytelling, Trees, Women, Worship and rituals | Comments Off on Forest dwellers in early India – myths and ecology in historical perspective

Video | Deowal Chitra & Alpana: Santal art reflecting “simplicity, honesty and a quiet vigour” – West Bengal

The Santhals, a proto-Austroloid racial group, is the largest tribe in West Bengal. Although they reside in several districts of West Bengal, Purulia District is one of the major areas where Santhals are found after Paschim Mednipur district. The primary … Continue reading

Posted in Anthropology, Childhood and children, Crafts and visual arts, Eastern region, Government of India, History, Homes and utensils, Quotes, Tribal identity, Video resources - external, Women, Worship and rituals | Tagged | Comments Off on Video | Deowal Chitra & Alpana: Santal art reflecting “simplicity, honesty and a quiet vigour” – West Bengal