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.
Tips for using interactive maps
- toggle to normal view (from reader view) should the interactive map not be displayed by your tablet, smartphone or pc browser
- for details and hyperlinks click on the rectangular button (left on the map’s header)
- scroll and click on one of the markers for information of special interest
- explore India’s tribal cultural heritage with the help of another interactive map >>
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 >>
On this website updates are readily found under two major categories:
India has far more museums and galleries with “tribal collections” than can be listed here. Smaller collections are rarely advertised in tourist brochures or on the internet yet accessible by appointment (e.g. anthropology departments and research institutions).
Find a Tribal Research Institute (TRI) in India >>
(up-to-date list on the TRI Portal of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India)
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.
As this map is constantly being updated, we welcome your suggestions on spreading the news on new or existing collections worth visiting.
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.”
Available from Bhasha Research and Publication Centre www.bhasharesearch.org.in >>
For up-to-date information on any of the above places, persons or issues, use the search window seen here:
Find up-to-date information provided by, for and about Indian authors, researchers, officials, and educators | More 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 >>
Photo and video recommendation: a voice from rural India worth being heard
Whether you plan a visit or seek to learn more about India’s rural life – perhaps inspired by the Gandhian social movement or Rabindranath Tagore – explore “a living journal, a breathing archive” in the Adivasi category of PARI: the People’s Archive of Rural India initiated by distinguished photo journalist-turned-activist P. Sainath, continually enriched by stories from all over India.
- Anthropology | Archaeology
- Biodiversity | Ecology and environment
- Crafts and visual arts | Fashion and design
- eBooks, eJournals & reports | eLearning
- Ethnobotany | Hyderabad biodiversity pledge
- Forest dwellers in early India – myths and ecology in historical perspective
- Health and nutrition | Recommendations by the Expert Committee
- History | Indus Valley | Megalithic culture | Rock art
- Misconceptions | “Casteism” and its effect on tribal communities
- Languages and linguistic heritage
- Map | Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups & Endangered languages
- Museum collections – general
- Museum collections – India
- Regions of India
- Revival of traditions
- Storytelling | Success story
- Tribal culture worldwide
- Tribal elders
- Video | “Nations don’t make us human – languages make us human”: Ganesh Devy