India is home to a large number of indigenous people who are still untouched by the lifestyle of the modern world. India has the largest population of tribal people in the world. These people are known as Adivasis and are the poorest among the lot who are still dependant on agriculture, hunting and fishing. Generally speaking by the term “tribe” means, a group of people that live at a particular place from time immemorial. Anthropologically the tribe is a system of social organization which includes several local groups- villages, districts on lineage and normally includes a common territory, a common language and a common culture, a common name, political system, simple economy, religion and belief, primitive law and own education system. Constitutionally a tribe is he who has been mentioned in the scheduled list of Indian constitution under Article 342(i) and 342(ii).
Currently there are between 258 and 540 scheduled tribe communities exists. The strength of these communities varies from 31 people of jarwa tribe to over 7 million Gonds. Thus the Gonds are big tribal community. Whereas the small communities comprising less than 1000 people include the andamanese, onge, oraon, munda, mina,khond, saora. Some of the main tribes of India are:
Odisha- Has the largest number of tribes in India that mainly inhabit the Eastern Ghats hill range. Tribal economy is subsistence oriented. It is based on food gathering, hunting and fishing and thus revolves around forests.
Chhattisgarh- The tribe here is a unique race who mainly inhabits the dense forests of Bastar. The lifestyle of the tribal people is unique and imbibed with traditional rituals and superstitions.
Rajasthan- Tribes of Rajasthan constitute 12% of the total population. The main tribal communities of Rajasthan are Bhil tribe and Meena tribe. The major concentration of these tribes of Rajasthan is found mainly in the foothill of Vindhya, Aravali mountain ranges.
Arunachal Pradesh- The tribes here differ in their socio economic and cultural patterns. There are 20 main tribes here and the tribals are extremely democratic, and each tribe has its own structured institutions that sustain law and order.