7 nomad tribes in India you had no clue about
September 14, 2015
India is a country of wonders and wanderers. It is home to tribes and communities that tend to travel more than others. Some of them travel out of necessity; others choose to be on road. Most of these tribes are hard to find as they have become a part of their respective local society. But their rich and unique heritage speaks volumes about them.
Let's take a look at 7 such nomad tribes in India:
- Changpa: Changpa is the name of a nomadic tribe from North India. The Changpa men and women hail from the Changtang Plateau region in Ladakh. They live in small groups and raise yaks and goats. One such group had been staying in Tibet Autonomous region until they got evacuated by China
- Bharwad: Originating from the Saurasthra region, the Bharwads believe they are descendants of Nanda, the foster-father of Krishna. According to their traditions, the Bharwads were once the residents of Mathura. After that, they migrated to Mewar and spread out across Gujarat
- Bedia: The community of Bedias believes they are the children of a Vedbansi prince with a Munda girl. The north Indian tribe has lost many of its nomad members as thousands of Bedias have settled in smaller towns and villages in Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh
- Gandhila: For generations, this tribe has been a part of the sociology of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. Their homeland is in Rajasthan and they left the place during the Mughal invasion
- Kela: Kela is a hunting community in Bengal that originates from Midnapore district. Members of the Kela community, also known as Kharia Muslims, are said to marry within their own community. People of Kela community can speak Bengali and are mainly sharecroppers and marginal farmers
- Narikurava: The Narikuravas have recently been identified as a Scheduled Tribe originating from Tamil Nadu. Once deep foresters, the Narikuravas were driven out of their homes to make room for development and conservation. They can now be found in different parts of the country selling beaded ornaments on the road
- Monpa: Around the extreme northeast of India, lives the tribe of Monpa people. One of the officially recognized tribes in China, the Monpas live in Arunachal Pradesh. Their population is around 50,000 and they can also be found in Tibet Autonomous Region. Some of the small groups have also settled in Bhutan and are closely associated with the Sharchop tribe there. They speak a unique language that is influenced by Tibetan and Burmese words. Most Monpas follow Buddhism and are acknowledged for their excellent skills of wood carving.
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