Indian youths from the Khasi tribe play traditional drums as they perform a dance at an autumn festival in the village of Umiam, some 40 kilometer west of Shillong. The tribe from the north-eastern Indian state of Meghalaya is famed for it skills in archery and is a matrilinial society where women inherit the wealth of previous generations (Photo: STR/AFP/Getty Images).
Radhakrishna N S
Gonds Known for unique tribal art, Gonda tribe mainly found at Chhindwara district in Madhya Pradesh state of central India. They are also based in the parts of Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, and Orissa. The Gond tribes speak Hindi, Marathi, and Dravadian languages.
The rural colour of tribe is filled with mud walls and thatched roof houses, earthen pots, traditional wears, and others. The tribe has unique art known as Gonda art, a form of painting. The work of Gond artists is closed associated with Goda folk tales, culture, life style, and others.
Bhils Bhils is a tribal community mainly based at Aravali mountain ranges of Sirohi in Udaipur and in places of Dungarpur and Banswara districts of western Indian state of Rajasthan. The members of the tribal community speak the Bhil languages, a subgroup of the western zone of the Indo-Aryan languages.
Bhils are also found in parts of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, and Tripura states. The tribal community is divided into a number of endogamous territorial divisions, which in turn have a number of clans and lineages.
At present, most Bhils speak the local dialect or language of the region where they reside. Bhils have unique culture. The Bhilala sub-sect is famous for its Pithora painting. Ghoomar (the symbol of womanhood) is a traditional folk dance of Bhil tribe.
Santals The Santal, or Santals is another ethnic group, found in Indian states of Jharkhand, Assam, West Bengal, Bihar and Odisha. Santals are the largest indigenous tribe in Jharkhand in terms of population.
Santal is a minority community in Bangladesh, Nepal, and Bhutan. The tribal community speaks Santali, an austroasiatic language.
The Santals traditionally accompany many of their dances during various festivals, celebrations, and others with two drums: the ‘Tamak‘ and the ‘Tumdak’. Chadar Badar, is the tribal performing art of the Santal tribal community. The show involves wooden puppets placed in a small cage which serves as the stage.
Great Andamanese Tribe The Great Andamanese Tribe includes the Onge, Jarawa, Jangil, and Sentinelese communities. The tribal community is thought to be the first inhabitants of the islands located in the Bay of Bengal. The Great Andamanese are mostly found in Strait island and parts of Rutland island.
The cultural and linguistic identities of the most tribes in the Great Andaman islands have largely been lost, their members now speak mainly Hindi. The culture and life style of the all of the tribal communities are unique.
Khasi The Khasi tribe is an indigenous ethnic group hidden in the mystical mountains of the north-eastern Indian state of Meghalaya. The Khasi tribal people are mainly found in the Khasi hills of Meghalaya and are also found in parts of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and West Bengal states of India.
Khasi people are mostly of short stature, with some exceptions. The traditional Khasi male dress is a Jymphong, where female dress is Jainsem or Dhara.
The five day long extravaganza, the Nongkrem festival organised annually in November attracting the visitors from various parts of the country. The Khasi people use a number of musical instruments such as drums, guitars, flutes, wooden pipes, metal cymbals, and others during celebrations.