Tribes of Rajasthan | Rajasthan has been home to numerous tribal & nomadic communities, the tribes of Rajasthan constitute approximately 13.48%(Census 2011) of Rajasthan’s population. Rajasthan has 6th place in India on the basis of population of tribe (Madhya Pradesh has 1st place). Among the districts of Rajasthan, Udaipur has highest number of tribal population while the Bikaner has the lowest.
Each of these tribes can be identified by their own culture, customs, trades, fairs & festivals. Bhils & Minas constitute the majority of population of the tribes of Rajasthan.
A. Major Tribes of Rajasthan
Bhils are the largest tribe in Rajasthan. Banswara is the main area where Bhils in large numbers. The Bhils are considered to be fine archers. Infact, Bhil bowmen even found a reference in the great epics Mahabarata and Ramayan.
The Bhils were originally food gatherers. However, with the passage of time, they have taken up small-scale agriculture, city residence and employment. The major fairs of Bhils are the Baneshwar fair (held near Dungarpur) and Holi. The Ghoomar dance is one well-known aspect of the Bhil culture.
The name Mina is derived from Meen,meaning ‘fish’ in Sanskrit, and the Minas claim descent from the Matsya Avatar, or fish incarnation, of Vishnu. The main reference of belief is based on the scripture of the Matsya Purana.
Before the rise of Rajputs during medieval period, Rajasthan had multiple mina kingdoms. The Minas are spread across the geography of Rajasthan, however, traditionally are concentrated in the shekhawati region surrounding Jaipur.
Main Kingdoms of Meenas (in the Rajasthan)
|S.No||Name of the Kingdom||Clan name of the Meena Rulers|
|3||Gatoor & Jhotwada||Nandla (also called Bad-Goti)|
|8||Bundi||Ushara (Parihar Meenas or Pratihar)|
- Also described as Damoria, belong to mostly Dungarpur, Udaipur districts of Rajasthan.
- However their maximum population is found in Dungarpur district (simalwara pachayat samiti) of Rajasthan.
- The Indo-Aryan language, Vagri, is their mother tongur and they are also conversant with Gujarati and Mewari.
- Damors are mainly cultivators and manual laborers.
- They are also known as Damariya.
- They considers theur origin from Rajputs.
- They are mainly farmers and practice agriculture and animal husbandary.
- Polygamy is prevalent in them and the money given to bride’s family by bridegroom’s family is called “Dapa”
- Damor male also wears ornaments like womens.
- They celebrate “Chadiya programme” on the occasion of holy
- Head of their tribe is called Mukhi.
Fairs: ‘chhela Bawaji’ fair(panchmahal-Gujarat) and ‘Gyaras ki Raiwari’ fair(Dungarpur) are the major fairs of damore tribe.
- Garasias is a small tribe inhabiting Abu Road area of southern Rajasthan.
- They got the name kathodi because of their profession of obtaining “katha” from “kher tree”.
- They basically belongs to Maharashtra, in Rajasthan they are mostly found in kotra, Jharol and Sarada Panchayat of Udaipur district.
- Kathodi women also intoxicate alcohol along with male.
- Womens don’t wear ornaments but they make tattoes on their body.
- The head of kathodi tribe is called “Nayak”.
- They worship gods and goddesses viz. Dungar dev ,Bagh dev,Bhari mata,kansari mata.
- Since it is an endangered tribe, very less population is left in the state.
11. Seharia or Sahariya
- Sahariyas are considered as the most backward tribe in Rajasthan and are the only group included in Particularly Vulnerable Tribe (PVTG) from Rajasthan.
- Sahariyas are an indigenous community from Shahbag and Kishanganj tehsil in the Baran district of Rajasthan.
- Their main occupations include working as shifting cultivators, hunters and fishermen.
- The origin of the word Kanjar from “kananchar” whci means the one who wanders in jungle.
- Kanjars are mainly found in Hadauti (Kota ,Bundi , Baran ,Jhalawar) and sawai Madhopur, Alwar, Bhilwara, Ajmer.
- They are known for theft and crimes, therefore they make window in the backside of their home in order to run away but they don’t make door in their homes.
- They never tell lie after sipping the “Hakim Raja ka Pyala.”
- Their family deity is ‘Chauth mata’Kanjar females are known for singing and dancing.Head of their tribe is called ‘patel’
- They are mainly found in Bharatpur and Ajmer district in Rajasthan.
- However their maximum population is found in Bharatpur district.
- The earn their living by making small handicraft and hunting of wild Animals.
- Only tribe which do not practice widow remarriage.
- There are two castes in them namely ‘Bija’ and ‘Mala’.
- They don’t lie after taking the oath of ‘Bhakar bawaji’.
- Their family god is ‘Bhakar bawaji’ and reverent goddess is ‘Sikodari mata’.
- They have a marriage custom called Kukdi custom in which character of girl is tested before marriage.
B. Denotified Tribes of Rajasthan:
British in 1871 passed Criminal Tribes Act and labeled over 200 of such communities as notified tribes for criminal tendencies. Post Independence, Government repealed the Criminal Act but introduced another law, the Habitual Offenders Act (1953) around 150 tribes have been labeled as de-notified tribes. These are tribes that have failed to integrate into Indian Society and so do not have sustainable livelihood means. Hence, they frequently engage towards criminal activities.
C. Nomadic Tribes of Rajasthan
- Baldias (Banjaras)
- The Banjaras are nomadic caravan runners who travelled with balaads or oxen-laden caravan and who continued travelling wherever their caravans were in demand.
- Gadias Lohars
- Gadiya Lohars are wandering blacksmiths that are named after their attractive bullock carts called gadis. Gadhiya lohars are found are Kathodi and Rabaris in Mewar region.
- Jogi Kalbelia
- Jogi Kanphata
D. Semi Nomedic Tribes of Rajasthan
- Sarangiwala Bhopas
- The Rabaris are still nomadic, an equally colourful sub-group that still travels over the desert in search of pastures for its flocks of sheep and camels.
- Their tradition is that their ancestor was brought into existence by Lord Mahadeva in order to tend the first camel, which had just been created by Parvati for her amusement.
- Their two main divisions are Menu and Chalkais.
- The Menu deals only in camels and occupies a superior position to that of the latter. They can marry the daughters of Chalkias without giving their own in return.
- The Chalkias keep larger herds of sheep and goats. Raika farms, called Dhanies, lie scattered over the countryside.
- Jogis (other then those included in Nomedic Tribes.)
E. Government & Tribes of Rajasthan:
The framers of the Constitution took note of the fact that certain communities in the country were suffering from extreme social, educational and economic backwardness arising out of age-old practice of untouchability and certain others on account of this primitive agricultural practices, lack of infrastructure facilities and geographical isolation, and who need special consideration for safeguarding their interests and for their accelerated socio-economic development.
These communities were notified as Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes as per provisions contained in Clause 1 of Articles 341 and 342 of the Constitution respectively.
Definition of Schedule Tribes:
Scheduled Tribes are those, which are notified as such by the President of India under Article 342 of the Constitution. The first notification was issued in 1950. The President considers characteristics like the tribes’ primitive traits, distinctive culture, shyness with the public at large, geographical isolation and social and economic backwardness before notifying them as a Scheduled Tribe.
Schedule tribes of Rajasthan:
- Bhil, Bhil Garasia, Dholi Bhil, Dungri Bhil, Dungri Garasia, Mewasi Bhil, Rawal Bhil, Tadvi Bhil, Bhagalia, Bhilala, Pawra, Vasava, Vasave
- Bhil Mina
- Damor, Damaria
- Dhanka, Tadvi, Tetaria, Valvi
- Garasia (excluding Rajput Garasia)
- Kathodi, Katkari, Dhor Kathodi, Dhor Katkari, Son Kathodi, Son Katkari
- Kokna, Kokni, Kukna
- Koli Dhor, Tokre Koli, Kolcha, Kolgha
- Naikda, Nayak, Cholivala Nayak, Kapadia Nayak, Mota Nayak, Nana Nayak
- Seharia, Sehria, Sahariya.
Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTG)
75 of the 705 Scheduled Tribes are identified as Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTG) considering they are more backward than Scheduled Tribes. They continue to live in a pre-agricultural stage of economy and have very low literacy rates. Their populations are stagnant or even declining.
In 1973, the Dhebar Commission created Primitive Tribal Groups (PTG) as a separate category, who are less developed among the tribal groups. In 2006, the Government of India renamed the PTGs as PVTGs.
Consequently, in 1975, the Government of India initiated to identify the most vulnerable tribal groups as a separate category called PVTGs and declared 52 such groups as PVTG, and later in 1993 an additional 23 groups were added to the category, making it a total of 75 PVTGs out of 705 Scheduled Tribes.
PVTG in Rajasthan
- Saharia tribe of Rajasthan have been included in PVTG.
To ensure the protection of aboriginal customs, culture of the tribes and prevent alienation of their lands and natural resources to non-tribals article 244 of the Constitution has the provision for declaration of Schedule V & Schedule VI areas.
Schedule V areas can be declared in any state except Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram. Consequently, 5th schedule areas have been declared in in 10 states of India namely Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Orissa, Rajasthan and Telangana.
Schedule VI has been used to declare schedule areas in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.
Acts & Rules for protection of tribes:
- Forest Rights Act 2006
- Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955
- Protection of Civil Right Rules, 1977
- SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Rules, 1995
- SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989
- PESA 1996
- THE CONSTITUTION (EIGHTY-NINTH AMENDMENT) ACT 2003
Schemes related to development of tribes of Rajasthan:
- To be included