Tip | Opportunities to appreciate India’s tribal cultural heritage from different angles: Visit one of India’s many museum collections

Depending on a museum’s own history, India’s tribal culture may be represented either by a specialized museum collection; or as part of departments such as anthropology or folk culture, arts and crafts.

As this map is constantly being updated, we welcome your suggestions on spreading the news on new or existing collections worth visiting.
On this website updates are readily found under two major categories:

museum_customsearch_screenshotSearch Indian press reports and websites maintained by government and other institutions

More tips

To familiarize yourself with tribal culture in any part of India,

  • click on any of the pins seen on the map
  • zoom in and out on the map by clicking on the + / – control buttons
  • for more options, click the square menu button on the left top of the map
  • the map’s menu allows you to display or hide information by checking or unchecking any “layer”
  • to hide the map’s menu, click the small triangle seen on its lower edge
  • type “tribal museum”, “tribal art gallery”, “Adivasi museum”, “Santal museum”, or similar combinations of keywords, the name of a tribal community or a place name here >>

Tribal-Inventory-2012-Bhasha.jpgBook recommendation

Tribal Arts in India: The National Inventory of Tribal Museums

“This Inventory, if not an exhaustive listing of the rich diversity of the materials, is nonetheless a definite invitation for researchers and institutions engaged in conservation of tribal culture for a future exploration.” 


Santali_Music_DVD_CD_2015_webIndia has far more museums and galleries with “tribal collections” than can be shown here. Smaller collections are rarely advertised in tourist brochures or on the internet yet accessible by appointment (e.g. anthropology departments and research institutions).

Collections and documentations of musical instruments are also found in the premises of the Sangeet Natak Akademi (New Delhi), exhibitions at some of the Zonal Cultural Centres (Government of India), and in educational institutions across India (universities, colleges and music schools).

For current debates on the way tribal customs have been (mis)represented in and outside India, search the online editions of leading Indian newspapers, magazines and news portals.

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