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Peter Varghese

on 27 November 2013

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Tribal Societies
Glimpse of the contents
Through this Prezi, we are going to explore about the different tribal and nomad communities in our country, India.They form an important part of the history because they have significant contributions to the country's development through the different periods.
Usually tribes live in forests,hills and in desert areas of the subcontinent.It is difficult for people to reach the interiors of the subcontinent.At times, there have been clashes between tribes and powerful caste based societies on different issues like customs and rituals followed by the tribes.Tribes retained their independent identity and have preserved their own culture.At times these caste - based socieites are dependent on the tribes for their diverse needs.This relationship of depedency and conflict has continued between them fo many years.

Contemporary historians and travellers from medival India hardly give any information about the tribes.The tribes hardly had any written records.Whatever we know about them is through their rich customs and oral raditions which passed on from one generation to the other.Modern historians use contemporary oral tradition to write about tribal societies.
The pastoral nomads moved from one place to another with their herd animals.They survived on milk products and exchanged ghee, wool , etc.with farmers for grains ,cloth,utensil,etc.They bought and sold these goods and then mived from one place to another n their animals.

The most Important trader nomads were Banjaras.Their caravan was called tanda.Sultan Alauddin Khaljiused Banjaras to move grain to city markets.The Mughal emperor Jahangir wrote that Banjaras used to collect grains from different areas and sell it in towns. Banjaras even used to transport grains for Mughals during war with as many as 10,000 bullocks.They carried wheat,rice even with their wives and children with them .
Pastoral tribes thus, basically reared and sold animals like horses and cattle to prosperous peopl.Diverse castes of petty peddlars used to travel from one village to another.Pastoralists even sold wares like rope, seeds,straw ma and coarse shacks.Mostly mendicants acted as wandering merchants.There were even castes of entrtainers performing in different towns for livelihood.
*The Gonds tribe was found in the states of Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh , Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.
*The Langahs and Arghuns were important in Multan and Sindh before they were captured by Mughals.
*he Kokhar tribe was influential in Punjab in the 13th and 14th century.
*The Gakkhars also of Punjab became influential after their leader Kamal Khan Gakkhar became a Mansabdar under
* Kolis and Berads were important tribes of Gujarat,Maharashtra and Karanataka.
*The Bhils tribe wa found in western and central parts of India.While few Bhil clans were hunter-gatherers , many of them became agriculturists and zamindars.

Thus, we saw that the Tribes & Pastoral Nomads forms an important part of the history of India, weaving a beautiful story through their customs and rituals that makes them different from the rest of the population.
During the medieval age several social, economic and political developments took place.But, the social changes brought through these developments were not even throughout the continent.Since ancient times, the Indian system was divided on the principle of Varnas.The rulers of that time, used to follow the rules laid down by Brahmins, who were placed at the upper rung in the caste system followed by the Hindus.
During this time period, under the Delhi Sultanate and the Mughal rulers, the gap between rich and poor a various other social communties widened.Several new towns and cities emerged during this period.

However, many other kinds of societes did not follow the rules laid down by the Brahmins.These included Tribal and nomadic communities who followed their own customs and rituals
In simple words, tribes are communities of people who do not follow laid down norms of society.Memebers of each tribe is united by the bond of kinship.Most ofthe tribes are dependent on agriculture as their livelihood.Other commonly practiced occupations are herding or hunting.Usually tribes use up the natural resources ofa the place where they live.Some are even nomadic and thus travels from one place to another.
The various tribes found at that time include :
* The chro chiefdom emerged in the twelfth century in Bihar and Jharkhand,who were subdued by Akbar's general, Raja Man Singhin 1591.Later Aurangzeb subjugated the tribe totally.
*The Balochis were powerful in the north -western part of India and were divided into small clans.
* The Mundas and Santhals were important tribes in Bihar, Orissa and Bengal
* In South India,there was a large tribal population of Koragas,Vetars and Marawars.
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