Introduction of the Tribal People

India is a huge land having a large tribal population.

There are certain states in India where the tribal population is higher compared to other states.

Tribal people have unique culture and characteristics.

The ancient historians and travelers provided very little information about the tribal people.

It is because the tribal people did not keep written records.

They only preserved their culture through oral traditions.

They passed down these oral traditions to each new generation.

Present-day historians have started using such oral traditions to write tribal histories.

The tribal people were found all over the Indian sub-continent.

Few tribes became very powerful with passing time and started to control territories also.

Let us know about some of the powerful tribes

In Punjab, Khokhar tribe was the most influential and powerful.

Later, the Gakkhar tribe became very powerful.

The chief of Gakkhars tribe, Kamal Khan Gakkhars was made a noble by Emperor Akbar.

In Multan and Sind regions, Langahs and Arghuns tribes were most powerful, until the Mughals came up.

In the north-west region, Balochis were a large and powerful tribe.

Balochis tribe was divided into many smaller clans under different chiefs.

In western Himalayas the Gaddi shepherd tribe was very powerful.

The Nagas, Ahoms and others dominated the north-eastern region.

By the 12th century, Chero tribes established its power around the present-day areas of Bihar and Jharkhand.

Later, Chero tribe was attacked and defeated by Raja Man Singh, the general of Akbar in the year 1591.

A large sum of goods was seized from the Chero tribes by the Mughals.

Under Aurangzeb, Mughal forces captured many Chero fortresses and controlled the tribe.

The Mundas and the Santals were other tribes who lived in Orissa and Bengal.

Kolis and Berads were some other tribes who lived in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Gujarat.

Other tribes like the Koragas, Vetars, Maravars lived in South India.

The Gonds resided in areas of Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.

Bhil tribes were founded in the western and central parts of India.

By the late 16th century, many tribal people settled down and started practicing agriculture and became zamindars.

But, many of them remained hunter-gatherers for a long period of time.


Tribal societies can be found in almost every region of India. Tribal people have a unique culture and characteristics.

The different powerful tribal societies of India were Khokhar in Punjab, Langahs, and Arghuns in Multan and Sind, and Balochis in Northwest.

Gaddis dominated the Himalayas. Chero tribe was found in present-day Bihar and Jharkhand.

Mundas and Santals were found in Orissa and Bengal. Apart from this, Koragas, Vetars and Maravars dominated in South India.

Bhils were found in western and central India. Gonds were found in present-day states of Chattisgarh, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.

The End