Sep 30, 2008

Bhils Tribes of India

Bhils Tribe- An introduction
Bhils tribes of India are the the largest tribe of South Asia comprising 39% of the total population of Rajasthan. These Indian tribes have a mention even in epics like Mahabharata and Ramayana. Going by legends Bhil women offered ber to Lord Rama, when he was in the jungles of Dhandaka, searching Sita. In the recent history as well these tribes of India were regarded as the fighters who were in a war against the Mughals, Marathas and the Britishers.

Bhils Tribe- Location

These tribes are largely found in Rajasthan. Bhils tribe are classified into two groups- the central or pure bhils and eastern or Rajput Bhils. The central category of these Indian tribes are found in mountain regions in the Indian states of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujrat and Rajasthan. Bhils tribes are also found in the north eastern parts of Tripura.

Bhils Tribe- Language

Bhili, which is an Indo Aryan language is the prime language spoken by Bhils tribes of India.

Bhils Tribe- Costumes

Traditional saris, loose long frock along with pyjama are the forte dress of women and men respectively of the Bhils tribes. The peasants wear turbans and Bhils also wear brass ornaments.

Bhils Tribe- Religion

These Indian tribes have a unique religious and ritual beliefs. Bhils tribes of India worship local deities like Khandoba, Kanhoba and Sitalmata. Tiger God called 'vaghdev' is also worshiped. They have no temples of their own though, but they have Bhagat or Gurus who perform the religious rites. On important occasions they consult Badvas- the hereditary sorcerer.

Bhils Tribe- Culture

The culture could be most enjoyable of all the tribes we have seen on our Indian tribal tour. These tribes of India are known for their distinctive society culture. The have a Panchayat like culture where the village headsmen deals with all the major disputes. The strictly adhere to the rules of the society and marry only in their own class. Rich on culture they give a lot of importance to dance and music. Ghoomar is the most famous dance amongst Bhils tribes of India. Than Gair is the religious dance drama performed by the men in the month of Sharavana (July and August). Highly talented on sculptures art, they make beautiful horses, elephants, tigers, deities out of clay.

Bhils Tribe- Fairs and Festivals

Baneshwar fair held during the period of Shivatri (in the month of January or February) dedicated to Baneshwar Mahadev also known as Lord Shiva is the main festival amongst Bhils tribes. During the festival these Indian tribes set up camps on the banks of the Som and Mahi river, perform dance around the fire and sing traditional songs. At night the raslila at the Lakshmi Narayan temple is a must watch.
Cultural shows, magic shows, animal shows acrobatic feast are the center of attraction at the fair. They also celebrate Holy and Dusshera.


Sep 26, 2008

Gonds Tribe of India

Gonds Tribe- An introduction
Our Indian tribal tour today takes us to The Gonds tribe of India. Many call them as the “face of Indian tribes” because of there population strength. Undoubtedly, these warrior tribes of India have a distinct identity in terms of culture, language and costumes. A visit to the Gonds tribe of India, makes sure that you get a different perspective on the ideologies of Indian tribes.

Historically, known for their heroics in the battle against Britishers, these proud tribes of India also gained control of Malwa after the decline of the Mughals followed by the Marathas in the year 1690. Like many other tribes in India, a watch at the costumes of the Gonds tribe is a delight. A unique ideology and thought process about the religion makes the Gonds tribe stand apart from any other tribe in India.

Gonds Tribe- Location
Gonds tribe are generally found in Gond forests of the central India. Chhindwara District of Madhya Pradesh, Bastar district of Chhattisgarh, parts of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, and Orissa are some of the other places of inhabitation by these warrior and royal Indian tribes.

Gonds Tribe- Language
Gondi language is the prime language spoken by Gond tribes of India. Beside this, these Indian tribes also have a good command on Telgu, Hindi, Marathi, Parsi and many other Dravadian languages.

Gonds Tribe- Costumes
Gonds tribes of India have a typical Indian dress culture. Male members in the Gonds tribe wear Dhoti ( long piece of cotton cloth wrapped around the waist passing through the legs). Females wear soft cotton saris along with the Choli or blouse.

Gonds Tribe- Food

Two millets known as Kodo or Kutki are the staple food of Gonds tribes of India. Most of the Gonds are the meat consumers, though they prefer Rice during the festivals.

Gonds Tribe- Religion
These tribes of India are highly religious minded. These Indian tribes worship Janani or the mother of creator. Gonds tribe also worship Pharsa Pen, inform of nail or a piece of iron chain. Mariai- the Goddess of plague and other diseases, and Bhimsen – the Hindu God are also worshiped by Gonds tribes in India. One unique feature of their beliefs is the existence of spirits. Gonds tribe believe that every or most places in the World are inhabited by a spirit. Sacrifices are also made to appease a number of deities. Gonds tribe believe that deities control everything in the World. These tribes of India also worship the God of household, God of fields etc.

Gonds Tribe- Festivals

Keslapur Jathra and Madai are the two major festivals celebrated by the Gonds tribe of India. At Kelaspur Jathra they worship, the snake deity called Nagoba, whose temple is found in the Keslapur village of Indervelly mandal of Adilabad district. The most famous attraction at the festival is the Gusadi dance performed by wearing head gears decorated with the peacock feathers, along with cotton cloth around their waist. Smearing ash all over the body is a must see at this distinctive festivals of Gonds tribe of India. The other festival celebrated is Madai. During this festivals Gonds meet their relatives setteled in other parts of India. Sacrifice of goat beeath the sacred village tree to appease the tribal Goddess is also done. In the night they enjoy the party atmosphere with liquor and dance and tribal music. Dusshera is another festival celebrated with utmost pleasure by the Gonds tribe of India.


Sep 24, 2008

Bhutia tribes of India

Bhutia tribes- Introduction
After a journey break in our Indian tribal tour, we are back to our scanning of various tribes of India. Today in focus are the Bhutia tribes of India. Originally of Tibetan origin, Bhutia tribes migrated to Sikkim in around 16th century. Today, these Indian tribes constitute a massive 14% of total population of Sikkim. Bhutia tribes are kind and warm hearted people and the hospitality shown here is something that is distinctive from other tribes in India. So, drive up to Sikkim and explore the best of Indian tribal culture, and enjoy the best of cuisines of these Indian tribes.

Bhutia tribes- Location

Bhutia tribes inhabit in the dry valley of northern part of Sikkim. Among the localities, they are also known as Lachenpas and Lachungpas.

Bhutia tribes- Language
Sikkimese is the highest spoken language amongst Bhutia tribes of India. Lepcha, Bhutia, Nepali, English and Hindi are some of the other languages on which Bhutia tribes are good at. Very few tribes in India except Bhutia tribes have such good command on so many languages.

Bhutia tribes- Costumes

Bhutia tribes have a very distinguished dressing culture. Females usually prefer heavy jewelery of pure gold with full sleeves blouse and a loose gown type garment. Males prefer wearing Bakhu which is a loose traditional dress with the full sleeves.

Bhutia tribes- Culture

These tribes of India live in a rectangular house called Khin. Bhutia tribes follow tantric Buddhism. Their legal framework form the best part of the culture. They term it as Dzumsa, which means the rendezvous point of the common masses headed by Pipon. Almost all the occupational responsibilities like grazing etc fall on the Pipon. Agriculture, herdsmen ship and the breeding of sheep and yaks form the main source of occupation amongst Bhutia tribes of India.

Bhutia tribes- Food
Bhutia tribes are mainly rice, animal fat and beef eaters. Come to Bhutia tribes in India and enjoy stuff like Momos, Ningro with Churpi, Sidra Ko Achar, Pakku, Kodo Ko Roti, Silam Ko Achar, Phulaurah Gundruk, Phagshapa, Sael Roti. They are very fond of Chaang (the millet bear). It is served in the special bamboo container called Tongba with the hollow pipe made of Bamboo.

Bhutia tribes- Festivals

Main Bhutia festivals fall in the month of February and December. Losar and Losoong are the highlight festivals celebrated amongst Bhutia tribes of India. Losar falls in the first week of February, embarking
the Tibetan new year. The act of Fire Metho in the evening is something to look forward for. On the other hand, Losoong in the month of December marks the end of the Harvest season. Electrifying atmosphere, with Chaan dancing, merrymaking at the monasteries at Palace (Tsuklakhang), Phondong and Rumtek add zing to the festivals. Archery competition, offerings to the God, are some major seeings at the festival. Stage fights and passing through the crowds with the fire torches add another ting of excitement to the festival.


Sep 21, 2008

Books on Tribes of India - Part One

Books are a gateway of knowledge to any subject. And it remains the same with tribes of India. Travelling alone, with theoretically no knowledge of any of the Indian tribes might just hamper your Indian tribal tour.These books on Indian tribes provide you a gateway of what to expect from various tribes of India.Indian books on tribes are enormous in number. From now onwards I will bring to your many a series of books on tribes of India. I would advice Indian tribal travelers to first go through some of these Indian tribe books and a joyful Indian tribal tour is among the weight list.

1The Tribals of India-by, Sunil Janah (Photographer)

Synopsis: Published in1993, this book is a collection of black and white photographs of the tribes of India, along with narrations of the author's experiences with various Indian Tribes. The book covers, the changing lifestyle of tribes in India accompanied by 30 years of vast experience of the author.

2 Demographic perspective on India's Tribes-by, Arup Maharatna
Synopsis: This book is a discussion on distinct demographic patterns and behavior of various tribes of India. It suggests that these are often influenced and shaped by broadly common sociocultural features unique to these Indian tribes. The book is an analytical view of demography of tribes in Jharkhand, West Bengal and other parts of India.

3 Santhal Women : A Social Profile-by, Chaturbhuj Sahu
Synopsis: This book is a study of the Tarajori panchayat of Deoghar District, Bihar and chiefly covers the post-1947 period.

4 Tribal communities and Social Change-by, Pariyaram.M.Chacko (Editor)

Synopsis: The book reprints all the important papers on tribes of India and their cultures published in the Indian Sociological Society's journal Sociological Bulletin from 1952 to 2001. The articles deal with range of issues concerning Indian tribes such as law, crime, education etc. |

5 Role and Image of Law in India: The Tribal Experience-by, Vasudha Dhagamwar
Synopsis: The book studies the relationship between tribes and the state with reference to the Indian legal framework.


Sep 18, 2008

Santhal Tribes of India

Santhal Tribe- An Introduction
A step forward, in our Indian tribal tour takes us to Santhal tribe. With a population of more than 49000, Santhal tribes are the third largest tribes in India. Belonging to pre Aryan period, these tribes of India are found in regions of West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa and Jharkhand. Many call them as “ the tribes
at extreme”, a visit to their place will surly get your moneys worth.

Santhal tribe- History
Santhal Tribes of India take pride in their past. Historically, these Indian tribes were at front end against
Britishers, and their heroics against Lord Cornwallis are well known. Many famous personalities such
as Sidhu and Baba Tilka Majhi were part of these enthusiastic tribes of India.

Santhal tribe- Language

Santhali is the prime language spoken by the Santhal Tribe. This Indian tribe also have a script of their own called Olchiki. Apart from Santhali they also speak Bengali, Oriya and Hindi.

Santhal tribe- Livelihood

The Santhal tribes of India have a typical tribal lifestyle. Basic needs are fulfilled by forest tress and plants. The tribes are also engaged in fishing and cultivation. These tribes of India also poses a magnificent skill of making musical equipments, mats and baskets out of the plants. The way this articulate process is carried out is worth wathing.

Santhal tribe- Culture

Dancing and music are the streamline of these Indian tribes. Santhal women dress in the red bordered white sari and dance in the line sequence. These tribes in India play mind soothing music with instruments like Tirio, Dhodro banam, Phet banam, Tumdak, Tamak, Junko and Singa.

Santhal tribe- Religion
Ironically, Santhals don't have a temple of their own and neither do they worship any idols. These tribes of India follow the Sarna religion, with Marangburu, Jaheraera, and Manjhi as their god and goddess.
Santhals pay respect to the ghosts and spirits like Kal Sing, Lakchera, Beudarang etc. Animal sacrifices in order to appease the Gods is a common practice amongst these energetic tribes of India.

Santhal tribe- Festivals
Karam festival which falls in the month of September and October, is the highlight festival followed by tedany visitor trevelling to these tribes in India. Other festivals of the celebrated include Maghe, Baba Bonga, Sahrai, Ero, Asaria and Namah. They also celebrate haunting festival called Disum sendra on the eve of Baishakhi Purnima.


Sep 16, 2008

Tribal Museums in India

Famous Tribal Museums in India
India is a land of 437 tribes. For any traveler it is virtually impossible to visit every tribe of India. Yet, the culture and lifestyle of each tribe in India is so versatile and distinctive from the other, that the excitement to travel Indian tribes never ends. On this note, I will advice you not to feel puzzled. For your convince, there are some very famous tribal Museums in India. These famous tribal museums in
India will not only contract your fatigue, but also guide you through your Indian tribal tour. These museums provide you with a face of expectation from these wonderful tribes in India. So, let us see some famous tribal museums in India.

Pune Tribal Museum
Location: Queens Road
Timings: 10 am to 5 pm

Special attractions
1 Sahyadri and Gondhavana tribal communities.
2 Documentation on the tribal communities of Maharashtra.
3 Collection of pictures and artifacts.

Tribal Museum - Bharatiya Adimjati Sevak Sangh

Location: Thakkar Bapa Smarak Sadan Dr Ambedkar Marg, Link Road
New Delhi
Phone: +91-11-23625492 Fax: +91-11-23532003
Timings: 11 am to 2:30 pm

Spacial attractions
1 Tribal artifacts.
2 Life size dioramas.
3 Exhibitions including instruments, weapons, ornaments etc.
4 Library facilities.

State Tribal Museum

Location: Tribal Research Institute
Circular Road, Chhindwara district
Timings: 10:30 am to 5 pm

Special attractions
1 Ethnological cultural specimens.
2 Tribes of Madhya Pradesh.
3 Culture of scheduled tribes.

Tribal Museum Ahmedabad
Location: Tribal Research & Training Institute
Gujarat Vidyapith
Timings: 11 am to 5:30 pm
Saturday: 11 am to 4:30 pm
Closed on Sundays and public holidays.

Spacial attractions:
1 Objects like agricultural implements, toys, masks etc.
2 Collection of tribal photos, slides and films.
3 Library facilities.

Tribal Museum, Bhubaneswar
Location: Tribal Museum,
Backside of Jagannath Temple
Koraput, Orissa.
Timings: 10 am to 5 pm (all days open, except national holidays)

Special attractions
1 Collection of stone sculptures, anthropological objects, jewelery, etc.
2 Library facilities.
3 Zoo.

Bhartiya Lok kala Museum
Location: Udaipur, Rajasthan
Timings: 9 am to 6 pm (open on all days except day post Holi)
Evening show: 6 pm to 7 pm

Spacial attractions
1 Tribal and folk art of India.
2 Collection of tribal dresses, masks and famous puppets of Rajasthan.

Tribal museum, Ooty
Location: Tribal research centre,
Muthorai Palada, Ooty

Spacial attractions
1 Artifacts and photographs of tribal groups of Tamil Naidu.
2 Open air tribal resides of Toda, Kota and other tribes.
3 Six sculptures, depicting lifestyle of paniya, todas and other tribes.


Sep 14, 2008

Bhumia- A proud tribe in India

Bhumia tribe in India
The next stop of this elite Indian tribal tour takes us to the most famous Bhumia tribe in India. Known for their enthusiasm and energy in every aspect of life, Bhumia tribes of India are found in many districts of Orissa. Koraput and Phulbani are few places where the Bhumia tribe of Orissa can be seen in abundance. With unique marriage trends and unexampled rituals these tribes of India demand- a must visit.

Bhumia can be regarded as the most celebrated tribes in India. Historically, known for their heroics in freedom struggle, Bhumia tribe of Orissa are rich on culture and tradition.

Bhumia districts in Orissa

1 Koraput district
2 Phulbani district
3 Gangam district
4 Sundergarh district

What to expect from Bhumia tribe of India?

By now, you would have learnt the spark present at these tribes in Orissa. This spark ensures a higher degree of anticipation and expectation from these jolly tribes of India. And I promise, you won't be let down.

Administration and control

This is something very amazing to explore with these Bhumia tribes in Orissa. The royal and
systematic supervision of these tribes of India, is something that that may not be seen anywhere
with any tribe in India. The head of the tribe is called Mukhia, however for every twenty villages, one "Bhattanaik" is selected.


Bhumia tribes of India follow a nonpareil ritual of marriage. The usual practice prevalent amongst these tribes is the elopement of groom with his prospective bride. The festive atmosphere of the Marriage period in Bhumia tribes in India is a complete Indian tribal tour package for you.

Balijatra is the most important festival of the Bhumia tribes of Orissa. The fun and thrill of Balijatra, could be an unforgettable experience.


Sep 11, 2008

Banjara- A major tribe in India

Banjara tribe of Orissa
A scanning of tribes in India take us to Banjara tribes of Orissa. Such is the culture of these tribes, that the uniqueness and exquisiteness flows from top to bottom. Though, their history is still a mystery, the dress sense, culture, customs and language, of Banjara tribe in Orissa signify that they originated from Rajasthan.

Colorful is the one word that comes to mind when we think of this enthusiastic tribe of India. They live in settlements called Tandas. Urdu, Telegu, Kutni, Lambadi are amongst the popular languages spoken here. A woman of Banjara tribes in Orissa is accustomed to wearing "ghaghra" and `choli` (a blouse). Ghagra is a whirling skirt made of red, black and white cotton, with pieces of mirrored glass embroidered on it. The craze for Jewels is of the highest degree amongst these celebrated tribes of Orissa. Anklets, silver earrings, hair plaits and bone bangles add charm to the enriched culture of Banjaras.

Ugadi, is the most famous festivals celebrated by Banjara tribes of India. Festivals like Holi and Diwali are also indulged in with added interest.

Banjara tribes in Orissa are huge devotees of Lord Venkateshwara of Tirupati. The love and dedication flourishes to such extent that, they save money from their living to visit to the pilgrimage of Tirupati Balaji.

Marriage celebrations

Marriage is something to look forward for in this vibrant tribe of Orissa. Enthusiastically celebrated, Liquor flows freely on the first day of the wedding when the bridegroom and his relatives are welcomed at the `tanda` of the bride. A royal welcome is given to the groom`s family by offering betel leaves and nut. On the day of Marriage, boy and girl exchange seven round balls made of rice, ghee and sugar. The couple then holds hands and does seven rounds of grain pounding with pestles.


National and international demand of the aesthetic artwork of Banjara tribes of India is immense. Variety of materials like silver, brass, gold, cowries, ivory, animal bone and even plastic d├ęcor hold a high export demand.


Tribes in Orissa

Tribes in Orissa
Sitting heavily on the Bay of bengal is the state of Orissa. Orissa -home to India's 62 tribes out of 437.
In Orissa the total strength of tribal population is approximately seven million which constitutes 22.21% of the total population of the State. Let us see some of the highly visited and richly costumed
tribes of Orissa. Each tribe in Orissa has its exclusive range of customs, rituals and beliefs.

List of tribes in Orissa

1. Bagat
2. Baiga
3. Banjara, Banjari
4. Bathudi
5. Bhottada, Dhotada
6. Bhuiya, Bhuyan
7. Bhumia
8. Bhumij
9. Bhunjia
10. Binjhal
11. Binjhia, Binjhoa
12. Birhor
13. Bonda, Bondo Poraja
14. Chenchu
15. Dal
16. Desua Bhumji
17. Dharua
18. Didayi
19. Gadaba
20. Gandia
21. Ghara
22. Gond, Gondo
23. Ho
24. Holva
25. Jatapu
26. Juang
27. Kandha Gauda
28. Kawar
29. Kharia, Kharian
30. Kharwar
31. Khond, Kond, Kandha, Nanguli Kandha, Sitha Kandha
32. Kisan Tribe
33. Kol
34. Kolah Loharas, Kol Loharas
35. Kolha
36. Koli, Malhar
37. Kondadora
38. Kora
39. Korua
40. Kotia
41. Koya
42. Kulis
43. Lodha, Shabar
44. Madia
45. Mahali
46. Mankidi
47. Mankirdia
48. Matya
49. Mirdha
50. Munda, Munda Lohara, Munda Mahalis
51. Omanatya
52. Oraon
53. Parenga
54. Paroja
55. Pentia
56. Rajuar
57. Santal
58. Saora, Savar, Saura, Sahara
59. Sounti
60. Tharua


Sep 8, 2008

Tribes in India - Introduction

India- or shall I say the land of God. Everything began and end in India. Walk through the streams of History, and you will realize there is one name that stands apart- India. India has seen different dishes of people throughout its glorious past but the most unique and nonpareil of them are the tribes. So, here we are the tribes of India presents India's most visited and unvisited places of great culture and lifestyle of the Indian tribes.

Indian Tribes are different. They eat differently, drink differently, enjoy differently and more so dress differently as well. I promise, its a unique experience exploring the tribes in India. Indian tribes are enormous in number. With thousands of them, tribes in India are spread across the country. Start counting from Arunachal Pradesh to The Nicobar, your figures will lose out but, the count never ends.

This is the first of many blogs you will get on various types of tribes in India. And I am sure at some point you will fancy coming to many of them.


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