The Bhils, a proud and ancient ethnic group: On the descendants of some of the original inhabitants of India – Madhya Pradesh

Bhil husband and wife in the Fürer-Haimendorf Collection

Bhil husband and wife – click on the photo to learn more

The Bhil tribe is a proud and ancient ethnic group inhabiting the Western part of Central India with the highest concentration in Jhabua district of Madhya Pradesh State. | Read more >>

The western region is home to a wide variety of people with different religious ‘s and cultures, most of whom have distinctive traditional textiles. They include Jains, Parsis, Hindus and Muslims, as well as tribal groups such as the Bhils and Mina. This region’s propensity toward colour has deep roots, for it is here that the Indus Valley civilization developed cotton-growing and -dyeing technologies. From at least the early second millennium AD, western India has traded dyed textiles to the Middle East, South-East Asia and the Far East, and later to Europe and the Americas, although most local communities maintained their own textile designs. | Learn more about western India’s cotton-growing and -dyeing technologies >>

The Bhils are probably the descendants of some of the original inhabitants of India known as the ‘aborigines’ or Scheduled Tribes (Adivasis), who now comprise only about eight per cent of the population of India. The rest, 92 per cent, consists of descendants of immigrants. Thus India is broadly a country of immigrants, like North America. […]

India was a veritable paradise for pastoral and agricultural societies because it has level and fertile land, with hundreds of rivers, forests, etc., and is rich in natural resources. Hence for thousands of years people kept pouring into India because they found a comfortable life here in a country which was gifted by nature. | Excerpt from a Supreme Court judgment published by The Hindu >>

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