(Last Updated on : 30/07/2011)
Indian Tribal Culture speaks volumes about the diversity of the country. `Unity in diversity` is one of the most spectacular features amongst the population of India. Among the diversified population, a significant portion comprises the tribal people, the aboriginal inhabitants of the primeval land. Tribal culture of India, their traditions and practices interpenetrate almost all the aspects of Indian culture and civilisation.
The different tribes in India if ever counted can move up to a mind boggling number, with all their ethnicities and impressions. In India almost a new dialect can be witnessed each new day; culture and diversification amongst the tribal can also be admired from any land direction. The tribal population is also pretty much varied and diversified. Quite manifestly, Indian tribal culture should assimilate and mirror a definitive section of the society. The current tribal population of India is approximately 20 million altogether. Each of the tribes is a distinctive community, either migrated from a different place or the original denizens of the land. These various tribes still inhabit the different parts, especially the seven states of the North-eastern region and almost each and every nook of the country. The speciality of the Indian tribes lies in their customs, cultures, and beliefs and, in particular, the harmony in which they survive in unanimity with nature. Tribal living perfectly portrays a well-balanced environment, a procedure that in no way upset the ecological balance.
In order to comprehend tribal culture in India, to understand the uniqueness of their culture, a detailed study is very much required by travelling within the society. Affectionate hospitality, undemanding ways of living and earnest judgement of the opinions is some of the characteristic traits that earmark tribal cultures of India. Their customs mirror their confidence in simplicity. Most of the tribes in India possess their own gods and goddesses, reflecting the dependence of tribal people on nature and animals. Except for the few, most of the tribes in India are affable, hospitable and fun-loving, coupled with potent community bonding. Some of the tribes share patriarchal cultural ties and some of the tribal societies are inclined towards women-oriented issues. Thus, they have their own festivals and celebrations.
Tribal people generally cling firmly to their identity, despite external influences that had threatened tribal culture, especially after the post-independence chaotic period. However it is observed that Christianity has brought about a change that can be termed as a `total transformation` in tribal lifestyle and outlook, particularly in the North-eastern states of India.