Tribes are predominant in parts of India like North east belt, Orissa, MP, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand and are scattered in other parts of the country too. With their share of the population at 8%, they are an integral part of our country. It is no surprise that they have maintained the tradition, culture and prehistoric rituals that elsewhere are almost extinct or have taken the modern face. The tribes follow their own rules and live a life of recluse when it comes to connecting with the society. The rich deeply rooted culture, the fascinating lifestyle and unexplored facts about them are what interest the modern Homo sapiens.
Embark on a journey that takes you back to the primitive age, that is still unaffected by the modern civilization. Get the glimpse of the ancient culture and life, and be ready for an overwhelming and mind boggling experience that you would never forget.
There are 16 major tribes in feral Nagaland, which shares a border with Myanmar in remote northeast India. Whether you tour the beautiful exotic villages that are just a few hours from Kohima, or to the far-off districts of Mon, which is a place situated at an elevation of 898 meters, all you find is the natural beauty spread till your eyes can reach. The place is home to Konyak Nagas who are skillful artisan and craftsmen. Mokokchung, a home to Ao Naga tribe is the cultural nerve centre of the tribe. Chuchuyimlang is the village of festivals for the Ao Nagas. Wherever you go you are sure to get bewildered by the tribal life. The Hornbill Festival, held every December in the Kohima district, offers a popular tribal experience.
The number of tribes found here are 62, the largest in India. The ancient people with mystical ancient ways live in remote, dense forests and hilly guts. Most of them are in the southwest part of the state. At Jeypore you will come across the Kondh tribe, who are considered to be the most primitive tribe. They live in the high gradients of the Niyamagiri hills, and mainly depend on horticulture. Another fascinating place is Ankadelli that famous for the most primitive, interesting & unique tribal weekly market of the Bonda tribes. The place is the border of the neighboring state of Andhra Pradesh, divided by river Machkund, with interest waterfall, mountain & forest. There are many tribal inhabited places in Orissa to explore. To explore the tribal culture and see it closely, you need to have an organized tour as the accessibility and language can be a barrier.
Rajasthan has around 15 % tribal population. The state is known as for its brave warriors and rich colourful traditions, values, and tribal culture. The Bhil tribe, the almighty group, located in southern part, was amongst the original inhabitants of Rajasthan.
Baneshwar festival is a tribal fair held in the month of January/February in Dungarpur. Bhils of Banswara celebrate the festival of Holi with show and pomp and being a part of the celebration will energize you. The traditional clothing, carrying swords and sticks, and performing the tribal dance of the region is something that will overwhelm you.
Bishnoi village (not very far from Jodhpur) provides an authentic experience of rural Rajasthan. The notable Bishnoi tribe worship nature and live in harmony with it. The surprising fact that they don’t bury their dead (they believe in preserving trees as wood is used in cremation) and cremate them is much reason to see them with the utmost respect. You can hear the fascinating tales of their love for the Mother Nature from them.
The pristine state shares border with Orissa; earlier was a part of Madhya Pradesh. The tribes form a thick percentage in the total population with their share and live in the deep thick forests of Bastar region. The tribes, which are predominantly Gonds, are known for producing beautiful arts and crafts, music and dance, and unconventional marriage practices. Young men and women live together in groups in Ghotul huts and interact freely before getting married. The Dusshera festival is one of the most important festivals of the region and is celebrated in the traditional and sophisticated way. A must visit place is the Royal Bastar farm near Jagdalpur, which forms part of a tribal village. Here you can interact freely with the tribes and get the glimpse of their lifestyle.
Maharashtra has a large tribal population. The state is home to almost 50 tribes, with the main ones being Bhils, Gonds, Mahadeo Kolis, Pawras, Thakars and Warlis. They are spread over large areas mainly on hilltops. Many tribes follow the primitive characters and live in groups moving from one place to another in caravans in search of livelihood.
The Mahadeo Koli tribe lives in harmony with nature and engaged in farming. The village is like a large family with fewer houses dwelling there that are extremely warm and friendly. You can go and stay with them and learn about their lifestyle and know their culture. The village has just over 100 houses, and over half of them welcome guests. People have the rich cultural heritage and follow distinct culture and live in their own world unmindful of the visitors and yet being hospitable.
The exotic and colorful tribal culture takes us away from our loud and technology advanced city life and tingle us with the world that never fails to amaze us in any way. The roots of our civilization that we don’t see every day, lies here and is preserved by them beautifully.