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The Tribal Zones of India


Posted Date: 07-Sep-2013  Last Updated:   Category: General    
Author: Member Level: Silver    Points: 15


The tribes, which are popularly called as the scheduled tribes, adivasis etc, are the original inhabitants of India who comprise nearly 8.2 % of the population of India. The tribes of India are the best examples of community, as they live in a particular geographical area, with a sense of we- feeling among them. They follow a distinct and unique culture and tradition of their own. Based on their segregation in different geographical locations, the tribes of India can be categorised in the foll



Introduction: The tribes, which are popularly called as the scheduled tribes, adivasis etc, are the original inhabitants of India who comprise nearly 8.2 % of the population of India. The tribes of India are the best examples of community, as they live in a particular geographical area, with a sense of we- feeling among them. They follow a distinct and unique culture and tradition of their own. Based on their segregation in different geographical locations, the tribes of India can be categorised in the following zonal areas.

The basic tribal zones in India:

Based on the geographical settlements the tribal zones of India can be categorised as follows:-

1. The tribes of the north eastern zone: The tribes of this particular zone are mostly concentrated in the thick forests of Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram, Assam, Meghalaya, Sikkim, Tripura etc. The best examples of the tribes of this zonal area are the Kukis, Nagas, Jaintias, Khasis etc. These tribes possess the racial characteristics of the Mongoloid race, which shows the physical characteristics of fair and clear skin, flattened nose, medium stature, small eyes and sparse hair on their body parts.

2. The tribes of the central zone: The tribes of this particular zone are found in the forest areas comprising the states of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, some parts of Maharashtra and West Bengal. The good examples of the tribes residing in this zone are the Gonds, Bhils, Santhals etc. Among the tribal population of India, the central zone comprises the highest among all, with the Gonds considered to be the largest tribe of India. The language of each tribe is unique and their languages spoken are together considered as the austric languages. The tribes of the central zone possess the proto australoid racial features which comprises of dark skinned and well built body, a large forehead etc.

3. The tribes of the southern zone: The famous tribes belonging to the southern zone are found in large numbers in the thick jungles of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, and the Andaman Nicobar Islands. The Todas, Chenchus, Soligas, Hakki Pikki, Kadu Kuruba, Jenu Kuruba, Onge, Jarawa, Andamani etc are some of the examples of the tribal community found in this zone. The tribes of this zone are known to have the negrito racial features which comprises of dark skinned body, curly and thick hair, well built body with thick lips.

In India a lot has been done, to get the adivasis or the schedules tribes to the main stream, thereby uplifting them in all the social, economic and educational fields. Many of the social workers have also worked hard in improving their status on the whole. Mahatma Gandhi fondly called them 'girijans' meaning people of the forests. Thakkar Bapa, a social activist called them as "adipraja", meaning original inhabitants. Dr. G.S.Ghurye, the first Indian sociologist called them as "Backward Hindus". Dr. Sudarshan of Karnataka has also worked in a tremendous way in getting the soliga tribe of Karnataka to the main stream of a civilized way of life.


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