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

“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://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

One member of the Constituent Assembly of India, Jaipal Singh, regretted that “the most needy, the most deserving group of adibasis [tribals] has been completely left out of the picture”: the first report on minority rights, made public in late August 1947, which “provided for reservation for Untouchables only”. – Ramachandra Guha in India After Gandhi: The History of the World’s Largest Democracy (New Delhi: Picador India), p. 115
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 (“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

Adivasi focused films as educational tool (Open Space Ranchi) – Jharkhand

On 20th February, two documentaries were shown amongst the students of Class IX, in Sarna Adivasi Madhya Vidyalaya in Pisca, a suburb area of Ranchi. It was a tribal area, with almost ninety percent Oraon students. When they saw ‘Kora … Continue reading

Posted in Adivasi / Adibasi, Assimilation, Childhood and children, Colonial policies, Community facilities, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, Education and literacy, Film, Government of India, History, Languages and linguistic heritage, Media portrayal, Modernity, Names and communities, Networking, Organizations, Quotes, Rural poverty, Seven Sister States & Sikkim – North Eastern Council, Tribal identity | Tagged | Comments Off on Adivasi focused films as educational tool (Open Space Ranchi) – Jharkhand

eBook | Museum of Santal Culture: A Catalogue on Santal Cultural Items – West Bengal

To learn more about specific items and their usage, type words like “instrument”, “ornament”, “drum”, “flute”, “puppetry”, “dress”, “ceremony”, “fish” etc. in search inside. For up-to-date reports type “Santal culture”, “Santali education”, “Santal heritage”, “West Bengal Santal dance”, “Tagore Santals”, … Continue reading

Posted in Adivasi / Adibasi, Anthropology, Childhood and children, Community facilities, Crafts and visual arts, Cultural heritage, Customs, Dress and ornaments, Eastern region – Eastern Zonal Council, eBook eJournal ePaper, Economy and development, Fashion and design, Games and leisure time, Homes and utensils, Languages and linguistic heritage, Literature and bibliographies, Museum collections - India, Music and dance, Musicology, Names and communities, Organizations, Performing arts, Photos and slideshows, Puppetry, Revival of traditions, Seasons and festivals, Success story, Tribal identity, Women, Worship and rituals | Tagged | Comments Off on eBook | Museum of Santal Culture: A Catalogue on Santal Cultural Items – West Bengal

“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 (PVTG), 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

Showcasing the lifestyle of the Koya community: Tribal museum and Sammakka–Saralakka Jatara festival at Medaram village – Telangana

With the exclusive tribal museum becoming operational on Tuesday, devotees thronging to the historic Medaram village for the Sammakka–Saralakka jatara can now get an insight into the life and culture of Adivasi and Koya tribes. […] The circular museum building, … Continue reading

Posted in Adivasi / Adibasi, Anthropology, Bastar, Crafts and visual arts, Cultural heritage, Customs, Dress and ornaments, Economy and development, Forest Rights Act (FRA), Government of India, Health and nutrition, History, Museum collections - India, Names and communities, Particularly vulnerable tribal group (PVTG), Photos and slideshows, Press snippets, Southern region – Southern Zonal Council, Tourism, Tribal identity, Worship and rituals | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Showcasing the lifestyle of the Koya community: Tribal museum and Sammakka–Saralakka Jatara festival at Medaram village – Telangana

Video | Through the Eye of the Ancestors: Historical Adivasi photo exhibition curated by a member of the Rathwa community – Gujarat

View the full video here >> Image: Bhil husband and wife: 1953, Fürer-Haimendorf Collection (SOAS Library PPMS19_6_BHIL_0142) | More information >> Your ancestors and my ancestors existed together; therefore, we should also be together and live happily. – Muja Ratwa Source: subtitles … Continue reading

Posted in Adivasi / Adibasi, Anthropology, Colonial policies, Community facilities, Cultural heritage, Customs, Dress and ornaments, eBook eJournal ePaper, History, Homes and utensils, Literature and bibliographies, Modernity, Museum collections - general, Museum collections - India, Names and communities, Networking, Organizations, Photos and slideshows, Quotes, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Seasons and festivals, Storytelling, Tribal elders, Video resources - external, Worship and rituals | Tagged , | Comments Off on Video | Through the Eye of the Ancestors: Historical Adivasi photo exhibition curated by a member of the Rathwa community – Gujarat