SNEAK PEEK INTO TRIBES OF INDIA

r from economical development and present-day trends there is a concealed community known as ‘Aadivasi’ or ‘Tribes’. They have their own language, festivals, cuisine, dance and music. Indian constitution has recognized tribal communities in India under ‘schedule 5’, hence the tribes are known as schedule tribes. I can’t say the total number but the tribal groups in India exceeds more than 500. Today we will talk about two of them- Khasi and Munda tribe.

Khasi tribe resides in different parts of Indian states but a larger population is found in the state of Meghalya. The unique feature of khasi tribe is that its heirs are recognised from mothers and not from the fathers, which means mother inherits the children and property. According to khasi law, young men and women have freedom to choose their mate themselves.

Khasi people are warm hearted, they offer Kwai or betel nut as a gesture of friendship. They are also fond of dancing. The major festivals celebrated by khasis are Nongkrem and Shad Shuk Mynsiem which lasts 5 and 3 days respectively.

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Munda tribes are found in the regions of West Bengal, Chattisgarh, Orrisa, Bihar but they mainly inhabit the Jharkhand state. They have a very respectful image, as Birsa Munda, who actively participated in the Indian independence struggle belongs to this tribe. Munda tribes have remained hunters for centuries, but gradually they started doing agriculture and settled with it. They also work as a labour in the fields to earn livelihood.

A one fourth of the Munda Tribal community is Christian but apart from that Mundas have their own religion known as Sarna and they worship Singbonga which means Sun God. They believe that Singbonga will punish them if they break the rule of marrying in their own tribe. There are various festivals celebrated by Mundas, Mage is one of them. In this festival they worship the spirits of their deceased ancestors.

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There are many more tribes which reflects different traditions, culture and beliefs; each of them has their own unique features. Diversity of India has knitted all the cultures together in a such a close and splendid way.

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