Origin of North East Indian Tribes
North East Indian Tribes can be largely associated with the ethnic groups of Indo Mongoloids, Tibeto-Burmese and proto Austroloids which represent the Asio-Austric culture on Indian hilly regions. The trends of these ethnic groups are visible in the looks as well as the traditions which are followed by these communities. They provide a cultural bridge between India on one side and South-East Asia, China and Inner Asia and Burma on the other by ethnic and linguistic angles. Their existence can be traced back to the pre-historic times.
Different Types of North East Indian Tribes
Starting from the tribal community found in Arunachal Pradesh which recognises at least 25 types of tribes, it includes 16 major tribes in Nagaland and even more in other states of North east India. Among the major tribes which are often found in India, some are prominent like the tribal groups of Garo tribe, Khasi tribe, Jaintia tribe, Adi tribe, Apatani tribe, in Arunachal Pradesh, Kuki tribe, Bodo tribe and Deori tribe in Assam who are scattered in the entire North Eastern region of India.
The people of Bodo tribe comprise 5.3 percent of the total population of Assam. They are the largest ethnic and linguistic group of Brahmaputra Valley. The Garo people are tagged as the second largest tribal community of Meghalaya. Adis are one of the major tribal communities of Arunachal Pradesh. They are very democratic in nature. The tribal region of north east often witnesses some tribal groups who have migrated in all the states of North east notwithstanding manmade political boundaries. One such Tribal group is the Kuki tribes who are available in all the parts of North eastern states. Along with the Garos and Khasis these are the next popular group of north east Indian Tribes.
Society of North East Indian Tribes
Socially, these tribal communities follow three types of lineage system which include the matriarchal, patrilineal as well as patri-matrilineal societies. Along with separate festivals these tribes vary on language, as each tribe has its own language.
Culture of North East Indian Tribes
North East Indian tribes can be separately marked for their cultural trends which are marked by their festivals, customs, dances, art and other social occasions that are observed by these tribal groups. Each tribe can be categorised separately by the dress they wear, jewellery and the dances they perform. The North East Indian tribes enjoy dance, music and drama which are a part of their rich tribal culture. Some of the major dance forms are Ponung, Rekham Pada, Ajima roa, Mi Su'a and Chambil mpa.
Religion of North East Indian Tribes
Regarding religion these tribes are usually followers of Christianity while religions like Buddhism and Hinduism are also followed in parts of North East India. The tribes of North East had no conventional religion and they believed in their tribal Gods mainly ‘Donyi-Polo’. The tribal people had a traditional religion which was a belief in the existence of spirits. Before the advent of Christianity, the hill tribes of North East practiced Animism.
Occupation of North East Indian Tribes
These tribes are primarily engaged in agriculture and farming is their biggest occupation. Jhum and shifting cultivation is largely practised in this region. Along with agriculture, the tribal community of North east depends largely on weaving and rearing of woolly animals. The women community mostly engage themselves in the job of weaving and handicrafts which are nation-wide famous.
Festivals of North East Indian Tribes
Some of the festivals celebrated by the tribes of North-East are Nyokum, Sekrenyl, Ngada, Ka Shad Suk Mynsiem, Ka Pom-Blang, Nongkrem, Ka-Shad Shyngwiang-Thangiap, Ka-Shad-Kynjoh Khaskain, Wangala, etc.
Thus, North East Indian tribes represent the most colourful culture of India. The tribal life of India represents a completely separate string of Indian community.