Category Archives: Adivasi / Adibasi

“Adivasi [Adibasi] – which is derived from Sanskrit – is applied to the dark-skinned or Austro-Asiatic indigenous groups of India (usually those from Eastern India). It is a commonly-used term in Jharkhand, Bihar, West Bengal and Odisha. It is also used by the local Mongoloid tribes of North Eastern India for the migrant workers who were brought in as indentured labourers to work in tea plantations during the colonial period. ‘Tribal’ is a very broad term in the English language, as we all know, and includes all the different indigenous groups of India.” – Santali poet, scholar and translator Ivy Imogene Hansdak (email dated 27 March 2020)
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=23032

“[Kripasindhu] Mahata argued in favour of a generic nomenclature that is easily remembered, referred to and recalled, and all-inclusive. ‘The religious code should ideally be ‘adivasi’, and it would refer to the entire tribal population in the country and even those who have migrated and settled elsewhere.” – Kripasindhu Mahata of Totemic Kudumi/Kurumi Mahata Samaj 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

“Literacy has prime value today. The question is: how to impart it without erasing Adivasi knowledge and value systems?” – Felix Padel & Malvika Gupta in “Are mega residential schools wiping out India’s Adivasi culture?” (The Hindu, 13 February 2021)
https://www.thehindu.com/society/children-from-tribal-communities-are-being-corralled-into-mass-schools-that-are-wiping-out-cultures/article33818793.ece
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=21733

“The three terms, ‘tribal,’ ‘Ādivāsī,’ and ‘indigenous peoples’ are related, but have their own trajectories; they have come into use at different times and for different motives. The definition of tribe has changed since the colonial period and varies among the different South Asian countries.” – Marine Carrin, General Introduction to Brill’s Encyclopedia of the Religions of the Indigenous People of South Asia (Handbook of Oriental Studies. Section 2 South Asia, Volume: 36, 2021)
https://worldcat.org/en/title/1285067971
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=48430

“In India tribal people are often called ‘Adivasis’ and the government recognizes them as scheduled tribes (STs). Scheduled Tribes (STs) and also Scheduled Castes (SCs) are the disadvantaged sections of the society due to socio-economic exploitation and isolation since times immemorial. According to the Census of 2011, the ST population in India was 104.5 million, accounting for 8.63 percent of the total population of the country.” – S. Parasuraman (Foreword) in “Tribal Sub-Plan in Maharashtra: A Diagnostic Study” (TATA Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai supported by Unicef Maharashtra, December 2015)
https://cdnbbsr.s3waas.gov.in
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=31354

“The first report on minority rights, made public in late August 1947, provided for reservation for Untouchables only. […] However, one member [of the Constituent Assembly of India] regretted that ‘the most needy, the most deserving group of adibasis [tribals] has been completely left out of the picture.” – Ramachandra Guha in India After Gandhi: The History of the World’s Largest Democracy (New Delhi: Picador India), p. 115
https://worldcat.org/en/title/179807214
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=15375

“Since the Indian Constitution uses the term ‘Scheduled Tribes’ or ‘tribals’ to refer to indigenous communities in India and the colloquial reference used by several indigenous communities themselves is ‘adivasis’ these two terms shall be used interchangeably.” – Rebecca S . David in “An analysis of the impact of the Forest Rights Act (2006) in three states of India” (MPhil University of Cambridge, UK, 2014), p. 1
https://www.academia.edu/30648733/
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=15257

“[A] large section of different tribal bodies off late have also started demanding for an Adivasi code. Claiming that all tribals can’t be forced to accept their identities as nature worshippers, they have announced to launch a protest. This in turn has forced the state government to take a middle path by naming the draft as Sarna/Adivasi code.” – Report titled “It’s Sarna, not adivasi, code for tribals: Bandhu Tirkey”, on a move by the Jharkhand government to introduce a “Sarna/Adivasi” code in a special Assembly session (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

“Adivasis do not form a homogenous community. Achievements related to socio-economic well-being were found to vary across groups and places among the members of the same community. […] Instead of seeing the Adivasis as ‘problems,’ the entire country can benefit massively by perceiving the Adivasis as co-citizens and sharing their historically constructed cultural values which often manifest the best forms of democracy and uphold the notions of higher levels of justice, fairness and equality than those which prevail in the seemingly mainstream societies. By ensuring their rights to live their own lives, the country can in fact guarantee itself a flourishing democracy.” – Brochure for the report titled Living World of the Adivasis of West Bengal: An Ethnographic Exploration, issued on the occasion of the Kolkata International Book Fair 2020
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=31882

“Adivasi people have an alternative world view, which has rarely been acknowledged or recognized. Their existence was never based on accumulation or consumerism. […] All of us can learn from them.”– Mari Marcel Thekaekara in “Adivasi people: proud not primitive” (New Internationalist, 15 July 2013)
https://newint.org/blog/2013/07/15/india-adivasi-survival-international/?55521117611331971
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=11937

“Adivasis is the collective name used for the many indigenous peoples of India. The term Adivasi derives from the Hindi word ‘adi’ which means of earliest times or from the beginning and ‘vasi’ meaning inhabitant or resident, and it was coined in the 1930s, largely a consequence of a political movement to forge a sense of identity among the various indigenous peoples of India.’ – Minority Rights Group International (World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples – India: Adivasis 2008)
https://www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/49749d14c.html
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=8415

“The Adivasis, who have made sacrifices during our freedom struggle were not given their due respect and recognition. The Tribal museum aims at showcasing the involvement of Adivasis in our freedom struggle.” – Prime Minister of India in “English rendering of PM’s speech at inauguration of new Civil, Cancer & Eye Hospitals in Ahmedabad” (Prime Minister’s Office Posted On: 04 MAR 2019)
https://pib.gov.in/PressReleaseIframePage.aspx?PRID=1567548
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=36256

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

Tip | How many ‘Scheduled Tribes’ are there in India? And what distinguishes them from other communities? (‘tribal’ or otherwise) – Information provided by the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes

There are over 700 tribes (with overlapping communities in more than one State) which have been notified under Article 342 of the Constitution of India, spread over different States and Union Territories of the country. The largest number of main … Continue reading

Posted in Adivasi / Adibasi, Assimilation, Constitution and Supreme Court, Customs, Democracy, Economy and development, FAQ, Figures, census and other statistics, Government of India, History, Organizations, Press snippets, Quotes, Regions of India – Tribal heritage & indigenous knowledge, Resources, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Rural poverty, Scheduled Tribe (ST), Tips, Tribal identity, Worship and rituals | Comments Off on Tip | How many ‘Scheduled Tribes’ are there in India? And what distinguishes them from other communities? (‘tribal’ or otherwise) – Information provided by the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes

Video | Synopsis: “Have you seen the arana?” Documentary by Sunanda Bhat – Kerala

Director: Sunanda Bhat | Producer: Songline FilmsGenre: Documentary | Produced In: 2012 | Story Teller’s Country: India Synopsis: The film interweaves contemporary narratives with an ancient tribal creation myth to explore the effects of a rapidly changing landscape on lives and … Continue reading

Posted in Adivasi / Adibasi, Childhood, Commentary, Cultural heritage, Customs, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, Film, Health and nutrition, History, Homes and utensils, Media portrayal, Modernity, Names and communities, Nature and wildlife, Quotes, Southern region – Southern Zonal Council, Storytelling, Tourism, Tribal elders, Video resources - external, Western Ghats – Tribal heritage and ecology, Women | Comments Off on Video | Synopsis: “Have you seen the arana?” Documentary by Sunanda Bhat – Kerala

Jaipal Singh and the adivasi (adibasi) movement of modern India: A gifted speaker from Chotanagpur – Jharkhand

Ramachandra Guha, India After Gandhi: The History of the World’s Largest Democracy (p. 115) | More information and book review >> The first report on minority rights, made public in late August 1947, provided for reservation for Untouchables only. Muslims were denied … Continue reading

Posted in Adivasi / Adibasi, Chotanagpur, De- and re-tribalisation, Democracy, Eastern region – Eastern Zonal Council, Economy and development, History, Literature and bibliographies, Modernity, Names and communities, Quotes, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Scheduled Tribe (ST), Video resources - external | Tagged | Comments Off on Jaipal Singh and the adivasi (adibasi) movement of modern India: A gifted speaker from Chotanagpur – Jharkhand

From Adivasi and Scheduled Tribes to Indigenous Peoples: “Tribes In Transition-II: Reaffirming Indigenous Identity Through Narrative” (National Conference) – New Delhi

Parallel Session 3: The ‘Tribe’ defined in Social SciencesChaired by: Prof. Bipin Jojo, TISS, MumbaiPaper Presenters: Shreya Jessica Dhan (JNU, New Delhi), Anu Krishnan (TISS, Mumbai), Pradyumna Bag (JMI, New Delhi), Evy Mehzabeen (JNU, New Delhi). Shreya Jessica Dhan, in her … Continue reading

Posted in Adivasi / Adibasi, Adverse inclusion, Anthropology, Assimilation, Colonial policies, Constitution and Supreme Court, Democracy, Economy and development, Forest Rights Act (FRA), Government of India, Literature and bibliographies, Misconceptions, Modernity, Names and communities, Nature and wildlife, Networking, Quotes, Revival of traditions, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Scheduled Tribe (ST), Social conventions, Storytelling, Tribal identity, Worship and rituals | Tagged , | Comments Off on From Adivasi and Scheduled Tribes to Indigenous Peoples: “Tribes In Transition-II: Reaffirming Indigenous Identity Through Narrative” (National Conference) – New Delhi