While we live in comfortable apartments in the cities, there are tribes in India who choose to live away from the city lights. We might think highly of ourselves but you will be amazed to see how these tribes are rooted in their customs and traditions. Some of them are even much more progressive than us.
Living in the North Sentinal Island of Andaman is known to be one of the most private and isolated tribes in the world. The Sentinelese do not like contact with the modern world. They have even attacked the people who tried to enter their territory. They usually use bow and arrows to hunt the wild animals. Some of their practices have not gone beyond the Stone Age. Because of their isolation, not much is known about the tribe.
The Chenchus Of Andhra Pradesh
The Chenchu tribe that lives in Andhra Pradesh is pretty progressive in their thoughts. Chenchu is a Telegu language in which they converse. Unlike Indian society, these people are free to marry whoever they want. There is no form of pressure in terms of marriage. They allow divorce and windows are also allowed to marry whoever they want. The clan is divided in gotras and they don’t marry within the same gotras. They live in forests that are declared as tiger reserved sanctuary. The government has failed in motivating them to adapt agriculture and they continue to live in harmony with tigers.
Bhil Tribe Of Rajasthan
Comprising 39% of the entire Rajasthan population, Bhil tribe is one of the biggest tribe of India. The women and men of the tribe stay as equals. The women openly consume alcohol and smoke hukkah along with men and it’s not looked down upon. The woman of the tribe is allowed to remarry and can have multiple partners after her first marriage. They used to serve as warriors of the kings. Popular folk dance of Rajasthan was developed by them. Most interestingly, in marriages men have to pay a dowry to girl’s family.
The Jarawa Tribe Of Andamans
They are one of the last surviving tribes in the Andaman and Nicobar Island. One of the very interesting things about this tribe is that despite living in an area populated with deer, they don’t hunt deer. Instead, they hunt pigs, fishes, and other animals. They apparently consider deer as sacred. Their custom of changing the names of their children post puberty is another unique aspect. There is an elaborate ceremony held for the purpose. The boy is supposed to hunt a pig and serve the tribe. The girl, on the other hand, is anointed in pig oil and clay. Post this tradition, their names are changed.
The Santhal Tribe Of Eastern India
Living mostly in Orissa, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Assam and Bihar, this tribe is known to speak multiple languages. Santhals do not have Temples and they don’t believe in idol worship. The Santhals are ghosts and spirits fearing people. The tribe performs animal sacrifices to appease the ghosts and spirits in which they believe.
Khasis Of Meghalaya
The Khasi tribe is one of the coolest tribe which follows the maternal traditions. The surnames of the kids are based on the mother’s lineage. Women are free to walk out of a marriage and no one can question her. Khasis do not believe in arranged marriages. The mother inherits the property of the family and a conflicted property is given to the youngest daughter in the family and children take the surname of the mother. In these tribes, man has to leave his home after marriage. He also made to do the household work in house in-laws house.
Garo tribe is another tribe of Meghalaya which follows the maternal traditions. It’s easy to distinguish them from other people because of their attire. You can see the woman of the tribe wearing traditional ornaments. The men can be seen wearing turbans. The tribe is famous for its distinctive architecture like Nokpante, Nokmong, and Jamadaal.
Angami Tribe Of Nagaland
Living widely in the district of Kohima, this tribe is famous for producing fine cane furniture, beds, and woodcraft. They have unique dressing styles. Women can be seen wearing Mechala with bangles, beads, and pendants as their ornaments.
This tribe has a very simple lifestyle. The Toto tribe lives in the village of Totopara in the district of Jalpaiguri in West Bengal. Their livelihood is mostly dependent on the trading of fruits and vegetables. The tribe believes in God Ishpa and Goddess Cheima and regard themselves as Hindu.
Irulas of South India
This is the second largest tribe in Kerala. They are largely spotted in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu. They are known to be expert in catching rats and snakes. Irulas are also well known for their various ritual performances. They are believed to be familiar with the black magic. They worship their own deities, although most of them regard themselves as Hindus.