Dedicated to the memory of Nicolaas Nobel (1933-2016) and Baba Amte (1914-2008) whom ‘Nico’ regarded as compassion personifiedthis background guide aims at helping teachers, students, researchers and media persons to approach Tribal Cultural Heritage in India in a forward looking, balanced and unbiased manner. It takes cognisance of the fact that India – a vast country with over 1.3 billion inhabitants – is home to over 700 Scheduled Tribes (104.5 million, accounting for 8.63 percent of the total population according to the Census of 2011).

Published under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International license


Nicolaas Nobel (1933-2016) founded the Tribal Cultural Heritage in India Foundation in 2008 supported by architect Jowa Imre Kis-Jovak and cultural anthropologist Jet Bakels. Cultural anthropologist Elisabeth den Otter made it possible to continue their efforts from 2010 until 2022, initially as Treasurer, and from 2016 as President and Treasurer. Art historian Mieke Beumer joined the foundation in 2016 and served as Board Member until 2022. Ludwig Pesch (the present editor and website administrator) was its Secretary from 2010 until 2022.

In addition to the many authors and respondents cited, there are others who support the work reflected in this background guide.

Special thanks are due to Arun V.C., Swapan Bhattacharjee, Ranjith Henry and Pitchaimuthu Yesudoss for drawing attention to sources and nuances that would otherwise have been missed.

Version: 15 February 2024 (21 MB) | Backup file: >>