About the Primitive Tribes

Primitive tribes are people in a society who are believed to lack cultural, technological, or economic sophistication or development.

We know that many tribes don’t have any concept of time at all, and live only in the present. They continue to have old practices of agriculture, sustaining their livelihood in a manner which is in our opinion very orthodox.

They are found in uncivilized areas/countries like Africa, Amazon, India, Brazil, etc. The primitive tribes mostly live in less populated places and natural habitats like jungles which helps them to sustain their living.


One of the primitive tribes I have chosen is from India and it is called ‘The Santhal tribe.’

Who are they?

The “Santhal tribe” is the third largest tribe in India. They are mostly found in the states of West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa, Jharkhand and Assam. They belong to the Pre -Aryan period and were the great fighters during the British regime in India. They prefer to live in the peripheries of forest and rivers to fulfill their basic needs. Prior to the nineteenth century, the basic needs were fulfilled by hunting. But with an increasing population and a rapid decrease of possibilities to kill animals for food, the Santals have turned to agriculture. According to the census their population is around 49,000. Santhals most spoken language is Santhali. Apart from Santhali they also speak Bengali, Oriya and Hindi. The Santhali language is part of the Austroasiatic Family. This is a large language family in the Southeast of Asia.

Their culture and believes

The Santhal Tribes enjoy and love dancing. It is an important part of their fairs and festivals. After a long day of hard work they relax themselves with some light music and dance. The women dress them self up in a red/white sari and dance in a line. Apart from dance the Santals play great music with their unique instruments, which they make themselves.

Santhals follow the Sarna religion. They have no temples of their own. They even don’t have a king/queen whom they worship. The God and Goddess of Santhals are Marangburu, Jaheraera, and Manjhi. Santhals respect the ghosts and spirits like Kal Sing, Lakchera, Beudarang etc. Animal sacrifices to the Gods is the common practice among the Santhals to please their lords.

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Three things that surprise me

I am very surprised by the fact that those people continue to live isolated from the world of 21 century. Their culture and food habits are very orthodox. Their old way of working and their perception to the external environment will pose a big challenge for their children to integrate in the 21 century. Inspite of their isolation they still seem to be happy living in their old world.

I think we are obligated to help the primitive tribes. We should show them the advantages of our technologies and knowledge. It will only bring them more benefits and make their lives easier, just like it is making our lives. The problem is the perception. Obviously they will take time to understand that this change is for their good. And according to me if those people can create items like baskets, weapons and instruments just by using their environment they have enough knowledge to learn this even though it will take time.



Link: http://www.indianmirror.com/tribes/santhaltribes.html

Website Title: Santhal Tribe, Art and Culture of Santhal Tribe, Santhal Tri[…]


Date Accessed: September 06, 2015


Link: http://www.ecoindia.com/tribes/santhal.html

Website Title: Santhal, Santhal tribe in India, Festivals of Santhal Tribe […]

Article Title: Santhals Tribe

Date Accessed: September 06, 2015


Link: http://rashidfaridi.com/2008/03/30/santhallargest-tribal-community-in-india/

Website Title: Rashids Blog

Article Title: Santhal:Largest Tribal Community in India

Electronically Published: March 30, 2008

Date Accessed: September 06, 2015


Link: http://stwfd.org/Indian_tribal_Santhals%20Tribe.htm

Website Title: Santhals Tribe

Article Title: Santhals Tribe

Date Accessed: September 06, 2015