Tip | Anthropology and more

Learn more about India’s tribal communities – their cultural heritage, current conditions and aspirations – with the help of the links seen below

“We have to write our own stories, about our issues, from our own perspectives” Abhay Xaxa >>

Despite their vast differences, anthropologists, including [Verrier] Elwin and [G.S.] Ghurye, as well as Srinivas and other Indian public figures and intellectuals, effectively erased or negated tribes’ worldviews and beliefs. When discussing the materialistic well-being of tribes, many anthropologists and other thinkers have also sometimes perpetuated a “saviour complex,” portraying tribes as bereft of the agency to express their own aspirations, and seeing it necessary to salvage tribal people from the clutches of their insubstantial living conditions without a deep consideration of how their ways of life have thrived in the past. […]

Interventions intending to impose religion onto tribes have attempted to assimilate them into mainstream society by diluting their uniqueness. For tribes, the links between culture and religion are integral to shaping their ways of life. […]

Source: “Uncivilising the Mind: How anthropology shaped the discourse on tribes in India” by Richard Kamei (Caravan Magazine, 1 March 2020)
URL: https://caravanmagazine.in/books/anthropologists-tribes-india
Date Visited: 6 July 2021

Find up-to-date information provided by, for and about Indian authors, researchers, officials, and educatorsMore search options >>
Search tips: in the search field seen here, type the name of any tribal (Adivasi) community, region, state or language; add keywords of special interest (childhood, language, sacred grove, tribal education, women); consider rights to which Scheduled Tribes are entitled (FRA Forest Rights Act, protection from illegal mining, UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, right to education, Universal Declaration of Human Rights); specify any other issue or news item you want to learn more about (biodiversity, climate change, ecology, economic development, ethnobotany, ethnomedicine, global warming, health, nutrition and malnutrition, rural poverty)

For a list of websites included in a single search, click here. To search Indian periodicals, magazines, web portals and other sources safely, click here. To find an Indian PhD thesis on a particular tribal community, region and related issues, click here >>

Sacred grove photo © survivalinternational.org >>
Learn more about the Soliga community in Karnataka >>
PARI >>

“We have a special responsibility to document, monitor and conserve our most precious asset” – Kamaljit S. Bawa in “Our biodiversity, our life, our future” >>

“The practice of religious rituals, ceremonies and sanctions by specific cultural groups allow such sacred landscapes to be maintained, emphasizing that humans are intrinsically part of the ecosystem. Taboos, codes and customs specific to activities and community members restrict access to most sacred groves. […] The inclusion of local people’s needs and interests in conservation planning is increasingly accepted as essential, both to promote the well-being of human populations, and to ensure that biodiversity and conservation needs are met in the long-term.” – Nazir A. Pala, Ajeet K. Neg and N.P. Todaria in “The Religious, Social and Cultural Significance of Forest Landscapes in Uttarakhand Himalaya, India” (International Journal of Conservation Science, Vol. 5, Issue 2, April-June 2014) | Sacred groves >>

“Is it eccentric to live in beautiful scenery in the hills among some of the most charming people in the country, even though they may be ignorant and poor?” Verrier Elwin quoted by G.N. Devy (The Oxford India Elwin)

[Bold typeface added above for emphasis]

Jawaharlal Nehru >>
Photo © Indian Express

Nehru was fascinated by the spontaneity of tribal culture and their capacity of joy and heroism in spite of their appalling poverty, destitution, and ignorance. […] In Nehru’s view, the process of modernization must not be taken as forcing a sudden break with the tribals past but help them build upon it and grow by a natural process of evolution.” – Dr. Chittaranjan Mishra in “Tribal Philosophy and Pandit Nehru” (Odisha Review, November 2017) | Learn more >>

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Tips for using interactive maps

  1. toggle to normal view (from reader view) should the interactive map not be displayed by your tablet, smartphone or pc browser
  2. for details and hyperlinks click on the rectangular button (left on the map’s header)
  3. scroll and click on one of the markers for information of special interest
  4. explore India’s tribal cultural heritage with the help of another interactive map >>

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This entry was posted in Adverse inclusion, Anthropology, Crafts and visual arts, Cultural heritage, Customs, Endangered language, Ethnobotany and ethnomedicine, Health and nutrition, History, Languages and linguistic heritage, Misconceptions, Museum collections - India, Musicology, Names and communities, Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTG), Regions of India – Tribal heritage & indigenous knowledge, Rural poverty, Tips, Tribal identity, Worship and rituals. Bookmark the permalink.