Accepted Paper:

Aspects of indigenous culture  


Vijay Prakash Sharma (National Institute of Rural Development)

Paper short abstract:

The purpose of this paper is to locate indigenous issues and knowledge areas of social and cultural anthropology, sociology, folklore, archaeology, and cultural studies. Paper covers the indigenous situation around the state of Jharkhand.

Paper long abstract:

In India, 461 ethnic groups are recognized as Scheduled Tribes, and these are considered to be India's indigenous peoples. In mainland India, the Scheduled Tribes are usually referred to as Adivasis, which literally means indigenous peoples. With an estimated population of 84.3 million, they comprise 8.2% of the total population. There are, however, many more ethnic groups that would qualify for Scheduled Tribe status but which are not officially recognized. Estimates of the total number of tribal groups are as high as 635. The largest concentrations of indigenous peoples are found in the seven states of north-east India, and the so-called "central tribal belt" stretching from Rajasthan to West Bengal. India has several laws and constitutional provisions, such as the Fifth Schedule for mainland India and the Sixth Schedule for certain areas of north-east India, which recognize indigenous peoples' rights to land and self-governance.

The laws aimed at protecting indigenous peoples have numerous shortcomings and their implementation is far from satisfactory. India has a long history of indigenous peoples' movements aimed at asserting their rights.

Paper covers the indigenous situation around the state of Jharkhand.. Social, economic, political, ecological and environmental issues are taken into consideration to grasp insight of indigenous life, livelihood, and contemporary situation.

Panel P049
Indigenous people and their culture: struggle for identity and survival?