The Tribal concentration is found in the forests as well as the highlands of India. According to the census of the year 1971, nearly 39 million heads belonging to the different tribal groups are estimated to inhabit the Indian Sub-continent. In the year 1981, the estimation reached to 52 million heads. With the amendment Act of 1976, the restriction within the states which segregated the Tribes from mixing with other people were uprooted. After the act had been realized, nearly or more than 7% of the Tribal population received a new life of recognition. The Tribal India in India follow a completely different life style which is distinctive of its own. They have the separate language, separate rituals and even separate source of living. The most spectacular aspect the tribes is that they abide by their heritage, and also love their self-identity and freedom.
The anthropologists and the planners of the development take in consideration the cognizance of the traditions of these tribes, spread all over India. Their way of life is fascinating and overwhelming. The successive five-year plans were aimed at the planning and developments of the areas that were inhabited mainly by the tribal people. The planning took special care in their protection as well as their preservation. The sixth five-year plan was aimed at securing the identity and the tribal life at par with their development. Since the very time of the Indian independence in 1947, the Government started to think about the tribes more actively. The upliftment of the tribal population was the main agenda. During the implementation of the seventh five-year plan, the aim was to introduce developmental programs for the Tribal India who took up the forest-based produce as the sole socio-economic developmental process. The development of the tribal culture along their lines of the belief was the fruitful way.
The History And the Significance Of Tribal India
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The dimensional aspects of the Tribes in India
Tribal India, as mentioned earlier, was seen in the naturally isolated areas, forest areas, and hilly areas. Their names were ruled by the name meaning of the forest as well as the people. The most common names are the Adivasis, Anusuchit Janajati, Janajati, Adimjati, Pahari, Vanvasi, and Vanyajati. It is evident that the tribal people have continuously kept terms with their neighbors since the very inception of their existence. In the Vedic literature, it is depicted that the tribes mostly practiced farming and hunting to maintain themselves. They did not have much connection with the people belonging to the mainstream civilization. They used to live beyond the eyes of the urban settlement as well as the rural settlement. This very difference in the existential life style of the two sects of human kind in India has eventually led to the cultural, philosophical and religious difference in the society.
Even today, we can certainly see that most marriages of the Tribal groups happen within their community. It is needless to say, that this very practice has enabled them to retain their value of the cultural as well as the heritage of their existence. The tribal people are economically backward. Since they do not get to touch the external socio-economic as well as the political factors of India, they do not know the other ways of earning money and maintain the lifestyle. Today, in modern India, the scenario of treating the tribal people has drastically changed. The tribal communities have been given the much-awaited recognition and the respect in the mainstream society. They are garnered with special privileges by the Government of India as well as their home state Governments nearly in each and every sector of the economy, like in the professional recruitment, educational admissions, political elections, etc. They are now recognized just like the other citizens, as they should be. Below is the detailed division of the Tribal India that exists in all parts of India:
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- The Northeast India is believed to be containing the most diverse population of more than two hundred fascinating tribes. It is no surprise that this region has successfully captured the imagination and the interest of the anthropologists all over the world. Some of the most popular tribes of the Northeast India are the:
- The Bodo Tribe found Assam. They are popular for growing the silk worms and also making the Zu Mai or the Rice wine.
- The Kuki Tribe found all over the Northeastern India, around the hilltop area. These tribes are known for the harvesting of cotton and making spun yarn.
- The Adi Tribe they are divided in Bogums and Bomis. They are popular for making precious and semi-precious stone-based junk jewelry. Rice cultivation is also their primal occupation.
- The Nyishi or the Nishi Tribe are the direct predecessors of the Indo-Mongoloid tribes. They are found in Arunachal Pradesh. They also cultivate a different type of crops as well as make jewelry for the living.
- The tribes of the western India are popularly known as the Lambani Tribes. They are found to be concentrated in the states of Maharashtra, Andra Pradesh as well as Karnataka. They are believed to speak the language which originated in Rajasthan. The Lambanis were popular for carrying salt, bamboos, grains and firewood. They made use of the oxen to carry the commodities.
- The southern India comprises of an enormous area of the Indian sub-continent. The tribes of this region are spread across the states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, etc.
- The tribes of Tamil Nadu are engaged in the activities of coffee and tea cultivation, dairy farming. They are also the believers of occult rituals.
- The tribes of Karnataka are involved with the cultural performances of theaters, dances, and singing.
- The Tribes in Kerala are extremely unique. They have successfully maintained their indigenous tradition separated from any foreign influence. They are the direct descendants of the Dravidian clan. They are known for their unique cuisine style, costumes, and ritualistic ceremonies.
This article has covered the history as well as the distinct features of the Tribal India. This very subject is ignored or not written about in ample. So, reading this will eventually help you in gaining knowledge about the undiscovered aspects of the Indian Tribal Population.
Featured Photo by Takuya Photography