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India has a substantial number of tribal population distributed in different States and Union territories. They live in different ecological settings and have different cultural patterns, different economy, different social organizations, and systems of social control. They have embraced different religious beliefs and practices. They have their own health-care system.

Tribal population is more in the Indian states of Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal and in extreme northeastern states.


Tribal people constitute 8.3% of the nation's total population, which is over 84 million people according to the 2001 census. In the northeastern states of Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Nagaland, more than 90% of the population is tribal.

Let us have a look at some of the notable Tribes in India

  • The Bodos of Assam
  • The Gonds of Central India
  • The Kurumbars of South India
  • The Todas of the Nilgiri Plateau
  • The Mundas of Jharkhand

The Bodos of Assam

The Bodos of Assam

The Bodos of Assam represents one of the largest ethnic and linguistic groups of the Brahmaputra valley


                                              The Gonds of Central India

The Gonds


The Gonds are a people in central India. The Gondi or Gond people are spread over the states of Madhya Pradesh, eastern Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, northern Andhra Pradesh, and western Orissa. With over four million people, they are the largest tribe in Central India.


                                           The Kurumbars of South India


Kurumbars are shepherds of South India. They are indigenous people of India. Kurumbars are descendants of Pallavas. Sculptures of the Mahabalipuram Temple near Chennai are their legacy. They ruled South India for more than 500 years, from the 4th century to the 9th century, and left a permanent mark in the field of art and architecture.


                                           The Todas of the Nilgiri plateau

The Todas

The Toda people are a small pastoral community who live on the isolated Nilgiri plateau of Southern India. Prior to the late eighteenth century, the Toda coexisted locally with other communities. They traditionally trade in dairy products.


                                                       The Mundas of Jharkhand

The Mundas

The Mundas are a tribal people of the Jharkhand region, which is spread over on five states of India and in parts of Bangladesh. Their language is Mundari. There are some two million Munda people in India.

  • Most tribes in India were concentrated in heavily forested areas that combine inaccessibility with limited political or economic significance.

  • Historically, the economy of most tribes was subsistence agriculture or hunting and gathering.

  • The Tribals followed their own religion.

  • Tribal members traded with outsiders for the few necessities they lacked, such as salt and iron.

  • Most Tribals were unhappy with the changes they were experiencing and the problems they were facing under British rule. Their familiar ways of life seemed to be disappearing, their livelihoods were under threat, and their religion appeared to be in danger.

  •  The Tribals considered the British as Dikus or Outsiders.

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