Oraons and Pygmies, a review of new-determinism

Bare, glistening bodies. Colourful, feathered headgear. Menacing, long spears and incomprehensible, muttered incantations. Thanks to the tinsel worlds of Hollywood and Bollywood our image of the tribal inhabitants of this world is complete, though not always correct! Let us set aside this image for a moment and see the world of the tribes in plain black and white. The world of the tribes is a world, which is fast losing its cultural matrix to the struggle for survival and, to the demands of `development...

Tribes | VOL. 13, ISSUE 81, November-December 2013

Niyam dongar

Breaking away from tradition, The Other Hundred, a photo-book project, tells stories of a 100 people who are not rich or famous, but deserve to be celebrated for their extraordinary lives.

Life # Tribes | VOL. 13, ISSUE 77, March-April,2013

Island Kings turned to Beggars

Death is certain—slow or otherwise. Here are the Jarawa, ebony lords of the island realm of Andaman, losing one thing after the other—their land, their forests, their waters, their kinsmen and now even their little left dignity. Reduced to beggary, the naive tribes people are a willing bait for the ‘developed’ society. The argument that I raise here is why does India needs to follow a much loopholed protectionist policy towards the Jarawa? It is imperative to mainstream them if we really...

Tribes | VOL. 12, ISSUE 75, November-December 2012

The Island People

Even though there is dominance of Islam, the social structure of the islanders is based on the matrilineal kinship and caste system that reflects the Hindu customs of Kerala.

Tribes | VOL. 12, ISSUE 72, May-June 2012

Tribes of Chhattisgarh

The State of Chhattisgarh is transforming and contrary to the older generation where tribal or non-tribal status impacted the way people would access amenities such as literacy, the disparities in the population are disappearing rapidly.

Tribes | VOL. 12, ISSUE 70, January-February 2012

Chhattisgarh Dance & Music

Home to myriad tribes that trace their ancestry to mythological times, songs, dances and plays of the State of Chhattisgarh are unique and indeed a treat for the senses. The beat of the drums and lilting flutes beckon you to a world of unexplored charm.

Tribes | VOL. 12, ISSUE 70, January-February 2012

Eroding Identities of Kashmir’s Bakarwal

Bakarwal, one of the largest nomadic Muslim tribes of India inhabits the militancy ridden vales of beautiful Kashmir and traces their ancestry to Georgia and other Central Asian Countries. The tribe in the last few decades is rapidly losing its identity and is struggling for survival in the midst of the crisis that has shrouded the Valley since the early 1990s.

Tribes | VOL. 11, ISSUE 67, July - August 2011

Enigmatic Chhattisgarh

Nestled amidst the mountain ranges of Mekal, Sihava and Ramgiri and watered by numerous rivers - Mahanadi, Shivnath, Indravati, Hasdo and Kharun – Chhattisgarh owns an ancient cultural heritage that begins from the Stone Age.

Tribes | VOL. 11, ISSUE 66, May-June 2011

Guarding Their Forests: Bhil

The Sondwa Block of Jhabua, Madhya Pradesh saw unprecedented commercial exploitation of its forests which upset the fragile hilly ecosystem. The Bhil livelihood was the most affected with dwindling forest resources on one end and the Indian Forest Act on the other which deemed them criminals in their own backyard. In 1983, the Bhil of Alirajpur began organising themselves to protect the forests - their lifeline.

Tribes | VOL. 11, ISSUE 66, May-June 2011

Foraging through forests: Gaddi

Among the various transhumant tribes that inhabit the Himalaya, the Gaddi herders share a causal relationship with the deodar and chir forests. Guarded by ferocious dogs the sheep and goat owned or loaned by the herder, forage through ancestral tracks to reach the alpine meadows every summer. With the enactment of the Forest Rights Act in 2008, the lives of the Gaddi are slowly but surely changing for the better as historic injustice is being undone.