Celebrating the “First” People of India : World Indigenous People Day
9th August is a day to remember and celebrate the first people of the world, or as they are more commonly known as – the Natives. When we think of natives, we usually pictures them in brightly colours clothes, living in small thatched huts, celebrating festivals and occasions by dancing around fires. However, along with these, there are several unique aspects that make trse natives or tribes, important to the world.
Here are few natives from our country, who have stood the test of time and live harmoniously with nature and modern society:
Chenchu: Found and originated in parts of Andhra Pradesh, Telengana, Karnataka and Odisha, the chenchu tribe covers a large portion of the landmass in these states. They speak their own language – Chenchu. Though the population of this tribe is dwindling rapidly, currently at around 70,000 – they take up considerable amount of forest space, where cities have not yet barged in. their main source of food an incomes in foraging resources in forest and hunting, unlike the usual farming.
Kodava: An ancient war-like tribe halining from the hills of Coorg and Kodagu, the Kodava tribe is one of the few old tribes which carries rifles legally. As part of their tradition, and to show their wealth gained over centuries, they do not put these guns to use till some major festivals of family events. The tribe’s current population stands at 554,762, however over the years, with the help of societies around them, the tribe has prospered to become landowners.
Toto: An isolated tribe, the Toto tribe is one of the oldest Indian tribes, located in the area of Totopara, in the Alipurduar district of West Bengal. A tribe with its own language, gods and art styles, the people of the tribe speak Toto, a Sino-Tibetan language. With a sparse population of just 5000, these indigenous people worship Ishpa who is known to cause disease and sickness when displeased. The totos offer him animals. They also worship Cheima, who keeps the village and people safe from trouble and sickness. She is offered grains, rice and fowl.
Nyishi: A tribe which is currently at a population of 2,30,000, the Nyishi have worked over the centuries to perfect their handicrafts ranging from weaving, cane and bamboo items to pottery, wood carving, blacksmith and carpentry. These in turn become their way of earning money. The language spoken by the people of this tribe is Nishi and they inhabits parts of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.
Warli: Known around the world for their complex art form – the Warli art, has been carried over from ancient times to become a standing symbol of the tribe. The Warli speak their unwritten language Varli and inhabit the mountainous and coastal areas of Maharashtra and gujarat. With a population of 2,55,271 the Warli is one of the most popular tribes in India.
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