TRIBES OF INDIA

Abhor
These tribes are found in Arunachal Pradesh and Assam.
Abujmaria
Known variously as Abudjamadis, Abujmariya and Hill Maria, these tribes are found in the geographically inaccessible areas of Abujhmar Mountains and Kutrumar Hills in the Bastar district of Madhya Pradesh. They speak a Dravidian language called Abujmaria. The Hill Maria tribes are considered as a sub-group of the Gonds, who are historically the most important group of original Indian tribes.
Adivasika
These are forest dwellers found mainly in Northern Kerala, near Calicut.

Adivasi Girasia
These tribes inhabit the Banaskantha and Sabarkantha districts of Gujarat and are believed to be the descendants of the Rajputs who married Bhil women. The name “Girasia” refers to the Rajput and other landholders living in the Gujarat and Rajasthan regions. Their language, also known as Adivasi Girasia, is an Indo-Aryan language belonging to the Bhil subgroup.

Adiyan
Also known as Eravas, these people are found in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
Ahirs
These people are the traditional dairymen caste of Uttar Pradesh.
Aka
These tribes are found mainly in the Andaman Islands, Arunachal Pradesh and also in parts of Assam. The Aka people are so named for a black, sticky paint they use on their faces. They used to speak Aka (now an extinct language) on the Andaman Islands and Aka Lel, a dialect of Nisi, in Assam. The Aka people in Assam celebrate the Nechido Festival every year on the first day of November.
Alars
Also known as Chathans or Chatans, these tribes are found in the Kerala-Palghat region. They speak Alar and Malayalam.
Amindivi
: These tribes are found in Lakshadweep.
Amri Karib
: Known by different names like Mikir, Manchati, Mikiri, Karbi, these tribes are found in the Mikir and Rengma Hills of Assam. They speak Amri, a dialect of Mikir.
Anal
These tribes are found in Manipur.
Angami:
These tribes are found in Kohima, the capital of Nagaland.
Ao
The Ao tribe is found in the Mokokchung District of Nagaland. The main festivals of the Aos are Moatsu and Tsungremmong celebrated during the first week of May and August, respectively.
Apatani
These tribes, also described as Apa, are found south of the Tibetan border in the states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland. Their language is also known as Apatani. These tribes are renowned for their cultivation, especially the Terraced rice fields, which are located along the sides of the valleys.
Arnatas
Also known as Aranadan and Eranadans, these tribes are found in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala. They speak Aranatan and Malayalam.
Asurs
These tribes are found in Bihar and West Bengal.
Awadhi
Known by different names like Abadi, Abohi, Ambodhi, Baiswari, Kojali and Kosali, these people are found in Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and parts of Uttar Pradesh. They speak in Awadhi, which is a dialect of Hindi.
Badaga
Also known as Badag, Badagu, Badugu and Vadagu, these tribes are found in the Nilgiri and Kunda Hills of Tamil Nadu. Their language is also called Badaga. The name “Badaga”, meaning “northerner,” was given to this group during the Middle Ages when they migrated from the Mysore plains to the Nilgiri Hills in southern Tamil Nadu.
Bagri
These tribes are found mainly in western India, in the states of Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, and Madhya Pradesh. They are an Indo-Aryan people, and their language is also called Bagri.
Bajania

These tribes are now found in Kachi Koli in Pakistan and are known by other names like Kachi Koli, Kuchikoli, Vaghri and Vagari. They speak Bajania, a dialect of Koli.
Bakarwals
These are the nomadic tribes of Kashmir
Baiga
Known by names like Baigai, Bega and Bhumia, these people are found in Bihar, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa and West Bengal. Their language is also known as Baiga.
Banchharas
These tribes are found in Madhya Pradesh.
Bangni
The Bangni (also known as the Dafla or the Nishi) inhabit the hills of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. Their native language, Nisi, belongs to the Tibeto-Burman language family.
Bangri
These tribes are located mainly in the states of Haryana, Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Delhi. Their language, Bangaru, is a member of the Indo-Aryan language family.
Banjaras
Known by different names in different places like Lamani, Lambadi, Bangala, Banjori, Banjuri, Gohar-Herkeri, Goola, Gurmarti, Kora, Labhani Muka, Lambara, Lavani, Lemadi, Lumadale, Sugali, Tanda, Vanjari, Waji, Gormati and Singali, these tribes are mainly concentrated in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Kamataka, Orissa and West Bengal. Their common language is Lamani.
Barda
These tribes are found in Gujarat.
Bavacha
These tribes are found in Gujarat.
Barel
The Barels are considered to be the sub-group of Bhils. They speak Barel language.
Bathudi
The Bathudis live primarily in the districts of Mayurbhanj, Kendujhargarh and Balasore in the state of Orissa. Most Bathudis are bilingual, speaking their native language, Bathudi and Oriya.
Bauria
The Baurias are also considered as a sub-group of Bhils. Their language is also known as Bauria.
Beda
These tribes are found in Ladakh
Bedia
These tribes are found in Madhya Pradesh
Bettakurubas
These tribes are found in Karnataka
Bhadrawahi
These tribes are located predominantly in Jammu and Kashmir
Bhils
The Bhils are considered as the third largest and most widely distributed tribal groups in India. The name “Bhil” was probably derived from the word villu or billu, which in most Dravidian languages is the word for “bow.” The bow has long been a characteristic weapon of the Bhil because the tribesmen always carry their bows and arrows with them. The Bhil tribes inhabit some of the most remote and inaccessible areas of India. There are two divisions of Bhils: the Central or “pure” Bhils, and the Eastern or Rajput Bhils. The Central Bhils live in the mountain regions in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Rajasthan. They are known as the connecting link between the Gujaratis and the Rajasthanis and are one of the largest tribal communities of India. They speak Bhili, which is an Indo-Aryan language. The Bhils are known to have fought against the Mughals, Marathas and the British.
Bhilala
The Bhilala are located in several states in western central Indian but mainly in the districts of Dhar, Jhabua, and West Nimar of Madhya Pradesh. Their language, also called Bhilala, is a sub-group of the Bhil language, which belongs to the Indo-Aryan linguistic family. The Bhilala are considered as nobility among the Bhil, since they are the direct descendants of the Rajput chiefs who took the daughters of the Bhil chieftains to be their wives.
Bhim
These are the tribes found mainly in the eastern state of Tripura.
Bhinjwari
The Binjhwaris or the Binjhals, live in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bihar and West Bengal. Although their native language is Binjhwari, many of these people also speak Chhattisgarhi.
Bhotia
: Known by names like Lahuli, Tinan, Lahauli, Rangloi and Gondla, these tribes are found in Himalayan Mountain ranges of Himachal Pradesh. They speak in Lahuli and Tinan.
Bhutia
These are Buddhists tribes found in Assam, along the border with Tibet and in Nepal. They are also known by the names Lhasa, Dalai, Pohbetian and Tebilian. They speak Tibetan.
Birhor
These tribes are found in the Hazaribagh, Singbhum and Ranchi districts of Bihar and parts of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa and West Bengal.
Bison Horn Maria
These are a small tribal group located mainly in Gadchiroli district in Maharashtra and also in parts of Madhya Pradesh. The designation “Bison Horn Maria” is derived from a distinctive headdress worn at marriage dances and adorned with the horns of now extinct wild bison. Many scholars believe that the Bison Horn Maria is part of the Gond tribe, while others consider them to be an earlier indigenous tribe assimilated by the Gonds.
Bombas
These are the Nomads inhabiting the rugged hills of Kashmir.
Boro (Bodo)
These tribes are found in Assam.
Braj Bhakha
These tribes are located mainly in the states of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. Their language, Braj Bhasha, is a member of the Indo-Aryan language family.
Bunde Soligas
These tribes are found in Karnataka.
Chakmas
Also known as Takam, these tribes are found in Assam, Meghalya, Tripura, West Bengal and parts of Bangladesh. They speak Chakma language.
Chamars
These tribes are known by different names like Chamari, Chambhar Boli and Chambhari. These are found in the States of Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra. Their language is known as Chamari.
Chameali Pahari
The Chameali Pahari tribes are primarily located in the states of Uttar Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir.
Changs
These tribes are found in the Tuensang District of Nagaland.
Chang-Pas
These are the tribes found in the northern upland valleys of the Indus River in Jammu & Kashmir. They speak in Tibetan dialect.
Charan
These tribes are found in Gujarat.
Chekhasang
Chekhasang and Pouchry Tribes are found in the Phek District of Nagaland. Chakhesang culture and customs are quite different from the other Naga tribes. There are evidences of the existence of head-hunting among the villagers in the ancient days.
Chenchus
Known variously as Chenchucoolam, Chenchwar, Chenswar and Choncharu, these tribes are found primarily in the state of Andhra Pradesh and also in parts of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Orissa. Their native language (also called Chenchus) belongs to the Dravidian language family. Many also speak Telugu.
Cheros
These tribes, which claim to be the descendants of the Rajputs, are found in Bihar, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal and are primarily concentrated in Palamau, Shahabad, Champaran, and other surrounding districts. The Chero speak a language that is also called Chero.
Chettier
Chettier is the Hindu fishermen caste of Tamil Nadu.
Chola Naickans
Also known as Chola Naikar, these tribes are found mainly in the Nilambur jungle in Kerala. They speak Canarese, a dialect of Kannada.
Dafla
These tribes are found in Arunachal Pradesh.
Damarias
These tribes are found in Rajasthan.
Deori
These tribes live along the Brahmaputra River and are primarily located in the states of Assam, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh. They speak a Tibeto-Burman language that is also called Deori. The Deori are one of the four divisions of the Chutiya people group and are also related to the Eastern Bodo-Garo.
Dhodia
The Dhodia are located in the extreme southeastern districts of Gujarat, in the hilly regions south of the Tapi River and in Dadra & Nager Haveli. The Dhodia are the highest ranking tribe and the third largest tribal group in Gujarat. They speak Dhodia, a Bhil language.
Dhurwa
These tribes are forest dwellers found mainly in the Bastar district of Madhya Pradesh and Koraput district of Orissa. They are considered as a sub-group of the Gond, the largest tribal group in India. They speak Parji in three dialects.
Dimasa
These are Proto-Austroloid tribes found in Meghalaya and Mizoram.
Dog-Pa
Also known as Srin, Shrin and Brog-Pa, these tribes are found in Jammu and Kashmir. Their language is known as Shrin.
Dogris
These tribes are known by various names like Dogri-Kangri, Dhogaryali, Dogari, Dogri Jammu, Dogri Pahari, Tokkaru and Dogri-Kangra. They are mainly concentrated in Jammu and Kashmir between the Ravi and Chenab Rivers. Many Dogris also live in Pakistan. The Dogris are a hardy people, divided into several castes and sects. Their language is known as Dogri-Kangri.
Dorli
The Dorli, a sub-group of the Gonds, are concentrated in the Bastar district of Madhya Pradesh. Some also live in parts of Andhra Pradesh and Orissa. Their language is also called Dorli.
Dubla
The Dubla live primarily in the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Rajasthan. They speak Dubla, a Bhil language that belongs to the Indo-Aryan linguistic family. The Dubla tribe contains twenty sub-groups, of which the Talavias have the highest social rank.
Eravallan
These tribes are found in Kerala.
Gaddi
Known by names like Bharmauri Bhadi, Pahari Bharmauri, Panchi Brahmauri Rajput, Gaddyal and Gadi, these tribes are found in parts of Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab. Their language is also known as Gaddi.
Galong
These tribes, also known as Gallong, Gallo, Galo and Adi-Galo, live in Assam, along the Tibet border area. Their language is also known as Galong.
Gamit
These tribes are found in Karnataka.
Gamti
This is one of the Bhil tribes that live mainly in the Surat and Broach districts of Gujarat, India. Among the Bhil, the word gamta means “headman,” possibly giving the Gamti a feeling of superiority over other Bhil tribes. They speak Gamti, which is one of the Bhil languages.
Garhwali
The Garhwali or the Central Pahari are a hardworking and often isolated people who are primarily located in the states of Uttar Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.
Garos
The Garos or Achiks belong to the Bodo family of the Tibeto-Burman race and are found in Meghalaya. They are said to have migrated from Tibet.
Gonds
The Gonds comprise the largest tribal group in India. Historically, the Gonds were the most important group of the original Indian tribes. In the 1500’s, several Gond dynasties were established and their rajas or kings ruled like Hindu princes. The Gonds were conquered by the Muslim armies in 1592 but their tribes were not disturbed by the changes in administration.
Gongte
These tribes are found in Manipur.
Gosains
These tribes are found in Madhya Pradesh.
Gotte
These tribes, also known as Podia Koya, are found in the jungles of Madhya Pradesh. Their language is Podia Koya, which is a dialect of Koya.
Gracias
These tribes, known by different names like Garasia, Rajput Girasia, Dungri Grasia and Dhungri Bhili are found in Gujarat and Rajasthan. Their language is known as Garasia.
Gujjars
Known by names like Gujuri, Gujer, Gojri, Kashmir Gujari and Rajasthani Gujuri, these are semi-nomadic tribal people found in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, besides parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Their language is known as Gujuri (also called Parimu and Hindki). Some historians believe that the Gujjars were the inhabitants of Georgia (Gurjia) a territory situated between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea in the former Soviet Union. They left that area and migrated through central Asia, Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan, crossed the Khyber Pass and entered the Indian Sub-continent. Several settlements are named after them, e.g. Gujar (Central Asia), Juzrs (Gurjara), Gujrabad, Gujru, Gujristan, Gujrabas, Gujdar-Kotta, Gujar-Garh, Gujarkhan and Gujranwala in Iran and Afghanistan.

Halam
Halam or Malsum tribes are found in Tripura. They originally hailed from one of the branches of Kukis.
Hanjis
These tribes are found along the Jhelum River in the Kashmir valley.
Harauti
The Harautis are located mainly in the Kota area of Rajasthan and also in parts of Madhya Pradesh.
Hilpulayan
These tribes are found in Kerala.
Hmar
These tribes are found in Mizoram.
Ho
The word “ho” means man. These tribes, which are also known as Lanka Kol and Bihar Ho, are found mainly in the Singbhum district of Bihar and theMayurbhanj district of Orissa, besides parts of West Bengal, Bangladesh and Nepal. Their language is also called Ho. These are classified as Caucasian.
Irula
In the Tamil, the name Irula means “people of darkness.” These tribes are known by different names like Eravallan, Erukala, Irava, Irular, Irular Mozhi, Iruliga, Iruligar, Korava, Yerukula and Kad Chensu. They are mainly concentrated in Chingleput at the Nilgiri foothills in Tamil Nadu. They are also found in parts of Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Karnataka. Their language, Irula, is related to Tamil and Kannada.
Jarawa
These tribes are found on the Rutland Island and the South Andaman Island. They speak the Jarawa language.

Jatapu
The Jatapu are mainly concentrated in the Srikakulam and Vishkapatnam districts of Andhra Pradesh. Some communities are also found in the states of Tamil Nadu and Orissa. Their original language is called Jatapu but most of the Jatapu speakers have adopted Telugu as their mother tongue.
Jats
These people form the dominant group in Haryana.
Juangs
These tribes are found in the Banspal taluk of the Keonjhar district of Orissa.
Jaunsaris
These tribes are found in Uttar Pradesh.
Kaikadi
The Kaikadis are a small tribal group located mainly in Maharashtra and Karnataka. Their language (also called Kaikadi) is a member of the Dravidian language family.
Kamar
These are the scheduled tribes found primarily in the Raipur and Rewa districts of Madhya Pradesh. Their native language is also called Kamar.
Karbi
These tribes are found in Assam.
Kashtwari
They are located mainly in Jammu and Kashmir. Their language is known as Kishtwari.
Katakari
They are located mainly in the states of Gujarat and Maharashtra. Their language is also known as Katkari.
Kathodia
These tribes are found in Dadra & Nager Haveli.
Kattunaickans
These tribes are found in Kerala.
Kawar
The Kawars are primarily located in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Orissa and Maharashtra. Their language, Kawari, is an Indo-Aryan language that is believed to be a dialect of Halbi.
Khambas
These tribes are found in Arunachal Pradesh.
Khamtis
Known by various names like Kham-Tai, Hkamti, Khampti, Khamti Shan, Khantis and Tai Kam Ti, these tribes are found in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and parts of Myanmar. Their language is described as Khamti.
Khandeshi
They are located mainly in the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat. Their language is also known as Khandesi.
Khasis
These tribes are found in Khasi-Jaintia hills in Meghalaya, Manipur, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and parts of West Bengal. They are also described by other names like Khasi Paharis, Khuchia, Kassi, Khasa and Khashi. Their language is Khasi. Khasis follow the matrilineal system of lineage.
Khiamungans
These tribes are found in the Tuensang District of Nagaland.
Khirwar
The Khirwar, a sub-group of the Gonds, live in the Sarguja district at the borders of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. Some speak the local Hindi dialect in addition to their own language, Khirwari.
Khorkhas
These tribes are found in Jammu and Kashmir.
Kipgen
These tribes are found in Manipur.
Kiutze
These tribes are located mostly near the Myanmar-Tibet border. Their language is known as Rawang.
Koch
These tribes live primarily in the states of Assam and Tripura. Their language, Koch, belongs to the Tibeto-Burman language family. In the sixteenth century, the Koch tribes had established a dynasty in the Bihar region, but were driven from power by the Muslims and the Ahoms. Today, they prefer the title Rajbansi, which means “men of royal blood,” because of their ruling ancestors.
Kodagu
The Kodagu (also known as the Coorg) live in the Kodagu (Coorg) district of Karnataka. The word kodagu means “situated to the west,” and their district, Coorg, stands in the ridges of the Western Ghat Mountains. They speak a Dravidian language that is also called Kodagu.
Kadamukudy
These tribes are found in Kadamukudy Island, near Kerala.
Kodavas
The Kodavas are the people living in the Kodagu region of Karnataka, which lies in the Western Ghats.
Kokni
Also known as Kukna, Kanara and Kokna, these tribes are found in the Western Ghats in Maharashtra and in the Dang district of Gujarat. Their language is known as Kukna.
Kolam
Known by the names like Kolamboli, Kulme and Kolmi, these tribes are found mainly inhabit the hills and plains of Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. They also live in the Yavatmal, Wardha and Nanded districts of Maharashtra and parts of Madhya Pradesh. They speak a Dravidian language called Kolami but can also speak Marathi, Telugu or Gondi. Around the twelfth century, the Kolam served as priests for the Gonds, representing some of their important gods.
Koli
These tribes are found in Dadra & Nager Haveli.
Konyaks
These tribes are found in the Mon district of Nagaland. Konayaks are adept artisans and skilled craftsmen. These tribes are ruled by hereditary chiefs known as Anghs. The most colourful festival of the Konyaks is called Aoling Monyu and it is observed during the first week of April every year.
Koras
These tribes are found in Bihar.
Korku
Known variously as Bondeya, Bopchi, Korki, Kurku and Kuri, these tribes are found in the southern Betul, Hoshangabad and East Nimar districts of southern Madhya Pradesh and Amravati, Buldana and Akola districts of northern Maharashtra. Their language is also known as Korku.
Korwa
The Korwas are one of the scheduled tribes of Central India. They live in the hills, valleys, and forests of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh. They speak a Munda language, also called Korwa, which belongs to the Austro-Asiatic language family. There are two very distinct tribes among the Korwas: the Diharia (or Kisan), who are farmers, and the Paharia (or Benwaria), who live in the hills. These two tribes do not inter-marry.
Kota
Kota or Kotta are the tribes found in the Nilgiri Hills of Kotagiri, in Tamil Nadu. Their language is also known as Kota.
Kotwali
These tribes are found in Gujarat.
Koya
The Koyas live in the forests, plains, and valleys on both sides of the Godavari River in Andhra Pradesh. Many also live in Madhya Pradesh and Orissa. The language of these tribes is also called Koya and is closely related to Gondi and has been strongly influenced by Telugu.
Kui
Known by various names like Kuy, Kodi, Khond, Khondi, Khondo, Kanda, Kodulu and Kuinga, these tribes are found in the Udayagiri area of Orissa, and parts of Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. They are a subgroup of a Dravidian tribe known as the Kond, which literally means “mountaineers.” They speak Kui, a Dravidian language.
Kuki
These tribes are found in the Kohima district of Nagaland and parts of Manipur and Assam.
Kulu Pahari
Known by names like Kauli, Kulu Boli, Kulu Pahari, Kulu Pahari, Kullui Pahar, Pahari Kullu, Phari Kulu, Kulvi, Kullui and Kulwali, these tribes are found primarily in Himachal Pradesh. They speak Kului and Hindi.
Kumaoni
These tribes are also known as Kumauni, Kumau, Kumawani, Kumgoni, Kumman and Kunayaoni and are found in Assam, Bihar, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Nagaland.
Kurichiya
These tribes are found in the forest areas near Calicut, Tellichery and Waynad in Kerala where they were the earliest known inhabitants. They are also found in parts of Tamil Nadu. Their language is called Kurichiya, although many also speak Malayalam. It is said that their name comes from the word kuri, which is the sandalwood that they put on their foreheads and chests.
Kurumba
These tribes are mainly concentrated in the Dharmapuri district of Tamil Nadu and also found in parts of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala. They are also known as Kuruba, Kurumban, Kurumvari and Southern Kanares. The Kuruba are considered closely related to the Pallavas of the eighth century. As the Pallava rule declined, the Kuruba’s forefathers scattered over a wide area of southern India and became culturally distinct. They speak a Dravidian language that is called Kurumba or Southern Kannada.
Labans
Described variously as Banajaras, Lambadi, Gola, Wanji and Singali, these tribes are found in Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Orissa and West Bengal. They speak a language called Lamani.
Labbai
These people are found in Tamil Nadu and claim to be the descendants of Arab traders.
Ladakhi
These tribes are found in Ladakh in Jammu & Kashmir.
Lahauli
These tribes are found in Lahaul Valley of Himachal Pradesh.
Lalung
The Lalung tribe lives in the states of Assam and Meghalaya. They are divided into two main sub-divisions: those who live in the hills and those who live on the plains. The two have developed distinctions due to differences in terrain and ecology. The Lalung belong to a race known as the Bodo. According to legend, their ancestors migrated from Tibet and followed the path of the Brahmaputra River south into the hills of Assam. Later, perhaps during the mid-1600’s they migrated to the plains.
Lambada
These tribes are known by various names like Lambadi, Lavani, Lemadi, Lumadale, Banjara, Bangala, Banjori, Banjuri, Gohar- Herkeri, Goola, Gurmarti, Kora, Gormati, Singali, Sugalis, Tanda, Vanjara and Wanji. The Lambadas originated in Rajasthan but are now concentrated in Andhra Pradesh. These are also found in Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Orissa and West Bengal. They speak Lamani and Telugu.
Lepcha
Known by different names like Rong, Rongke, Rongpa and Nunpa, the people of this tribe are found in Sikkim, Kalimpong district of West Bengal, Nepal and Bhutan. Their language is known as Lepcha.
Lhoba
These tribes, which are found mostly in Arunachal Pradesh, are part of the Lhoba tribe of China. Their language, Lhoba, is part of the Sino-Tibetan language family.
Lohar
These tribes are found in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana and Punjab. They are known by various names such as Gade Lohar, Gaduliya Lohar, Lohpitta Rajput Lohar, Bagri Lohar and Bhubaliya Lohar. Their language is known as Gade Lohar.
Lothas
Lothas are the tribes found in the Wokha district of Nagaland. They are known for their colourful dances and songs particularly Shanta, Tokhu Emong and Pikhuchak.
Lushi
The Lushi (Shenlung) tribes are found in Mizoram and claim Jewish ancestry.
Madiga
These people belong to Andhra Pradesh and are known by different names like Gentoo, Tailangi, Telangire, Telgi, Tengu, Terangi and Tolangan.
Malakaras
The word “Malakkara” means “mighty people of the forests”. These tribes, which are also known as Mala Muthas, are found in Kerala. They speak Malamutha and Malayalam.
Malappanackers
These are the tribes found in Kerala. They speak Malappanackan and Malayalam.
Malmis
These tribes are found in Lakshadweep.
Malto
Known as Malti, Maltu, Malpaharia and Rajmahalia, these tribes are found in Rajmahal hills in Northeast Bihar and West Bengal. Their language is also called Malto.
Manipuri Jews
This community sees itself as descendants of the Menashe Tribe (which is considered as one of the 10 lost tribes of Jews). These people have Chinese appearance and they claim that after their forefathers were exiled and enslaved by the Assyrians they somehow escaped from slavery and moved initially to China and later to India. Known as the “Children of Menmasseh,” they live on the border of India and Burma, and a majority of them are believed to be Messianic Jews (believers in Jesus Christ — Yeshua). Their number is estimated to be about 1.2 to 1.5 million. Israelis refer to this people by the name Shinlung or Lushi.
Manjhi
These tribes live mainly in the Gumla district of Bihar and parts of West Bengal and Assam. Their primary language is Manjhi, but they also speak Sadri and Bihari.
Mappilla (Moplas)
These are the Muslim tribes found in Kerala’s northern coastal towns and the Lakshadweep Islands off the Malabar Coast. The Laccadive Mappilla are unique in that they have maintained a matrilineal society (line of descent is traced through the women) in spite of their Islamic beliefs.
Maria
The Maria or Muria are a sub-group of Gonds and live in the forests and hills of central India. They live along the Indrawati River, which flows through the Bastar district of Madhya Pradesh. They are divided into two groups: the Maria and the Bison Horn Maria. The two groups have very little contact with each other, except during certain annual festivals.
Mauris
These tribes are found in Jammu and Kashmir.
Mavchi
The Mavchis are a sub-group of Bhils. Their language is also called Mavchi or Mawchi.
Mech
The Mech are mainly found in the forests and hills of Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri, and Coochbehar districts of West Bengal and also parts of Assam. They are related to the Bodo and Kachari tribes and speak Bodo, a branch of the Sino-Tibetan language family.
Meithei
These tribes are also known as Mitei, Manipuris, Kathe, Kathi and Ponna, and are found in Assam, Manipur, Nagaland, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, besides Bangladesh and Myanmar. These tribes are of Mongol origin and speak a Tibeto-Burman language called Meithei.
Melacheris
These tribes are found in Lakshadweep.
Meos
These are the rural tribes concentrated in the districts of Alwar and Bharatpur in Rajasthan and in the Gurgaon district in Haryana. They speak in Marwari (Rajasthani).
Mikir
These tribes, which are also known by the names Mikiri, Manchati and Karbi, are found in the Mikir and Rengma Hills of Assam. Their language is called Mikir.
Mina
These tribes are found in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.
Minicoy
These tribes are found in the Minicoy islands of Lakshadweep.
Mishing
These tribes are found in the Majuli Island of Arunachal Pradesh. They are also known as Miri. They speak Miri, a dialect of Adi.
Mishmi
These tribes are found in Arunachal Pradesh and Assam.
Mog
These are the Buddhist tribes found in Tripura, who claim to have originated from Arakan.
Mon
These tribes are found in the Ladakh region.
Monpa
Known by different names like Moinba, Monba, Mompa, Momba, Menpa andMemba, these tribes are found in Arunachal Pradesh and parts of Tibet. They speak a language called Moinba.
Mru
The Mrus are primarily located in the region where the borders of India, Bangladesh and Myanmar intersect. They are concentrated in the Chittagong Hills in Bangladesh, Arakan Yoma district of Myanmar and in the Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal. The native language of these tribes is also called Mru.
Mundas

These tribes are also known by different names like Mundari, Mandari, Munari, Horo, Mondari and Colh. These are known as Adivasis in Orissa. They are found mainly in southern and western parts of the Ranchi district of Bihar and also in the states of Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Tripura and West Bengal and in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, besides Nepal and Bangladesh. Their language is called Mundari. Mundas are the most ancient among the tribes of Bihar.
Nahari
They are located mainly in the Raipur, Bilaspur, and Sambalpur districts of Madhya Pradesh, as well as parts of Orissa.
Naikda
These tribes are found in Dadra & Nager Haveli and Daman & Diu.
Neethakani
These tribes are found mainly in the Neelwai vilage of Andhra Pradesh.
Nicobarese
These are the people of Mongoloid stock found on the Car Nicobar Island. These tribes are also known as Car and Pu.
Nihal
These tribes are found in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh and are also known as Nihali, Nahal, Nahali and Kalto.
Nimadi
These tribes are located mainly in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra.
Nishi
These tribes are found in Arunachal Pradesh.
Nocte
These are the tribes found in Nagaland and are known by other names like Borduria, Jaipuria, Paniduria, Mohongia and Namsangia.
Noniya Caste
The Noniyas are the traditional earth-workers of Uttar Pradesh

Ojhas
These tribes are found in Madhya Pradesh.
Onges
These tribes are found on the Southern Andaman Islands, Little Andaman Island and the three small islands to the northeast. They are also known as Jarawas and speak the Jarawa language.
Oraon (Kurukh)
These tribes are found in Bihar and Orissa.
Oriya
These tribes are found mainly in Orissa and parts of Bihar, West Bengal, Assam and Andhra Pradesh. They are also known as Odri, Odrum, Ouya, Orissa, Uriya, Utkali, Vadiy and Yudhia.
Padhar
These tribes are found in Gujarat.
Paharis
These tribes are found along the foothills of the Himalayas, mainly in Himachal Pradesh.
Pangwalis
These tribes are found in Himachal Pradesh.
Panika
These tribes live primarily in the Shahdol district of Madhya Pradesh and are divided into two broad groups: the Kabirpanthi and the Sakta.
Paniyan
These tribes are found in Kerala and Tamil Nadu and are also known as Pania and Panyah.
Parhiya
These are mainly found on the hilltop forests of Bihar.
Pardhi
These tribes are known by different names as Bahelia, Chita Pardhi, Lango Pardhi, Paidia, Paradi, Paria, Phans Pardhi, Takankar and Takia. These tribes are found in Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra. Their language is also described as Pardhi.
Pauri Bhuiya
These tribes, who are also known Bhuiya, Bhuinhar, Bhuinya, Bhuiyali, Bhumia, Bhungiyas and Bhuyan Oriya, are located in Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
Pawi
These tribes are found in Mizoram.
Phoms
These tribes are found in the Tuensang district of Nagaland.
Poouch
These tribes are found in Jammu & Kashmir. They speak Poochi, Urdu and Dogri languages.
Pramalai Kallar
These tribes are found in Tamil Nadu.
Porja
The Porja (or Konda-Dora) tribes are located in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, and Orissa. They speak a Dravidian language called Konda-Dora, (konda meaning “hill” and dora meaning “leader”). This name was given to them because of their descent from the great Kondh tribe. The Porja are well established as two groups: the Pedda Kondalu and Chinna Kondalu. The Pedda Kondalu have retained most aspects of their traditional culture, however, the Chinna Kondalu group has been heavily influenced by the Telugu.
Purig-Pa
These are people of Tibetan origin found in the Kargil district of Jammu & Kashmir. The people prefer to be culturally and linguistically identified with Tibet, although religiously with Islam.
Rabari
These are semi-nomadic people of Rajasthan.
Rabha
These tribes are found in Assam.
Raji
These tribes are found in Uttar Pradesh. Their language is also known as Raji.
Ralte
These tribes are found in Mizoram.
Reddy
These people are found mainly in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. They are also known by other names like Mukha-Rora, Deddi-Dora and Conta-Reddi.
Rengma
These tribes are found in Tseminyu in the Kohima district of Nagaland. The Rengmas celebrate the popular festival of Ngada every year in November.
Riang
The Riangs are primarily located in the Deotamura ranges of eastern and central Tripura. Some tribes also live in Assam. These are considered as the second largest tribe of Tripura and the first inhabitants there. They speak a Baric language that is also called Riang.
Saharia
The Saharia or Sor live primarily in the state of Madhya Pradesh. They are also found in the hills of the Ganjam district of southern Orissa, as well as in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Assam. They speak a Munda language that belongs to the Austro-Asiatic language family.
Sangtams
These tribes are found in the Tuensang District of Nagaland.
Santhals
These tribes are found in Bihar, Orissa, Tripura, West Bengal and Assam, besides Bangladesh and Nepal. They are also known by other names like Hor, Har, Satar, Santhali, Sandal, Sangtal, Sentali, Samtali and Santhial. They speak Santhali. They are considered as the largest tribe in India. The basis of Santhal religion is the belief that they are totally surrounded by bongas or spirits and frequently are visited by deceased ancestors.
Saurashtras
Saurashtrians are mostly silk weavers and silk thread merchants, originated in the Saurashtra region (present day Gujarat, and parts of Maharashtra) in Northern India and later settled in Madurai and spread to Trichy, Salem, Kumbakonam and other surrounding areas of Tamil Nadu few centuries ago. Their native language, also known as Sourashtra, is a pre-Gujarati language, which shows many archaic features of Gujarati and at the same time shows influence of other Aryan languages like Konkani and Marathi and of Dravidian Telugu and Tamil.
Sema
Semas are considered to be the martial tribe among the Nagas. These tribes are concentrated in the Zunheboto district of Nagaland. Tuluni is one of the most important festivals observed by the Sema tribe in the second week of July every year.
Sentenelese
These are the tribes found in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Sherdukpen
These tribes are found in Arunachal Pradesh.
Sherpa
The Sherpa are a Himalayan people living primarily in eastern Nepal. A few of them, however, live in the mountains of the bordering Indian state of Sikkim and in the larger hill towns of the state of West Bengal. The Sherpa language is a dialect of Tibetan, thus it is a part of the Tibeto-Burman language family.
Shin
These people are found in the Dras Valley and Gurais area in Kishenganga Valley in northern Kashmir. They speak in an Indo-Aryan language called Shina.
Shompens (Shom Peng)
These tribes live on the Great Nicobar Island. Their language is also described as Shom Peng.
Siddis
These tribes are found in Goa.
Singpho
These tribes are found in Arunachal Pradesh.
Solung
These tribes are found in Arunachal Pradesh.
Sondwari
These are the tribes found mainly in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
Sourastras
Described by various names such as Saurashtra, Saurashtri and Patnuli, these tribes are found in parts of Tamil Nadu. Their spoken language is described as Saurashtra.
Subernabaniks
They represent the rich merchant classes of West Bengal. The Subernabanik women are famous for their beauty. According to legends, the Subernabaniks originated in the princely kingdom of Oudh, near Bengal, during the reign of King Adisura about 1000 AD.
Tadvi Bhil
They live in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Rajasthan. Their language, known as Dhanka, belongs to the Bhil subgroup of the Indo-Aryan linguistic family. The name Tadvi literally means “one who taps the palm tree” and is used to refer to all forest tribes.
Tagin
This tribe is found in Assam. They speak a language, which is also called Tagin. Some also speak Dafla or Nisi as a trade language.
Tangsa
These are the tribes found in Nagaland and in Myanmar. They are known by various names like Rangpan, Tasey and Chem Chang. Their language is Naga and Tangsa.
Tharu
These tribes are found in the northwest of Bihar and speak Tharu, a dialect of Bhojpuri.
Toda
These are the hill tribes of Nilgiris (Tamil Nadu) who are very indigenous to this area. These people, who are also known as Todi or Tuda, claim to be the direct descendants of the Aryans. According to some researchers, this tribe has links with the Sumerian people of the ancient Mesopotamian civilization. Their language is also known as Toda. Today, almost 3000 Todas live in the Blue Mountains.
Totos
These tribes are found in West Bengal.
Tripuris (Tipera)
These tribes are primarily concentrated in the plains of Tripura and are indigenous to this area. They are the largest tribe in the state, and their land once extended over much of Bengal, Assam and northern Myanmar.
Tulu
These are fair-skinned people who are found mainly in Mangalore and South Kannara districts of Karnataka. They speak a Dravidian language, also called Tulu, which lacks a script.
Ullada
These tribes are found in Kerala.
Urali
These tribes are found in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. These are also known by the names Oorazhi and Urli and speak the Urali language.
Usipi
The Usipis are located predominantly in Assam and Tripura. Their language, Usipi (also known as Kok Barok), is part of the Sino-Tibetan language family. The Usipis are commonly characterized as Garo.
Varli
These tribes are found in Dadra & Nager Haveli and Daman & Diu.
Wagdi
The Wagdis are considered as a sub-group of Bhils. The Wagdi language, also called Wagdi, belongs to the Bhil branch of the Indo-Aryan language family.
Wancho
Known by different names like Naga Wancho, Banpara Naga and Joboka, these tribes are found in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland. They speak Naga and Wancho languages.
Wars
These tribes primarily inhabit the districts East of Meghalaya. They belong to the Proto-Austroloid Mon-Khmer race.
Wattal
These tribes are found in Jammu & Kashmir.
Yanadi
The Yanadi are dark skinned short-stature people found mainly in the Nellore and Chittoor districts of Andhra Pradesh. They speak Yanadi, which belongs to the Telugu language family. They are divided into two groups: the Manchi Yanadi, which belongs to the small superior class and the Challa Yanadi. The two groups seldom inter-marry.
Yeravas
These tribes are found in Karnataka.
Yerukala
The Yerukala live primarily in the Godivari district of Andhra Pradesh and parts of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. They speak Sankara-Yerukala, a Southern Dravidian language that is distinctly related to Tamil. Many of the Yerukala also speak Telugu. These tribes are also known by the names Yarukula, Yerukla, Erukala and Koraya.
Yimchungers
These tribes are found in the Tuensang District of Nagaland.
Zakhring
These tribes are found in Arunachal Pradesh.
Zanskaris
These are the Buddhist tribes, ethnically similar to Tibetans, found in the Zanskar Mountains in the Leh-Ladakh and Kargil-Purik areas of Jammu and Kashmir. They speak Zanskari, a language related to Tibetan.
Zemi Naga
The Zemi Nagas or Zeliang are the tribes found in the Upper Barak Valley of Assam and parts of Manipur and Nagaland. They speak Naga and Zeme (Zoliang) languages.
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6 thoughts on “TRIBES OF INDIA

  1. Jarwas and Ongies of Andaman & Nicobar Group of Islands are not the same tribe. They have different languages and their life styles are different. Jarwas are basically hunters, whereas, the Ongies are mainly gatherers/farmers. Their physical features or bone structures are also different. I was born and raised in Andaman Islands therefore I know these things about them. If you want details please contact the Department of Anthropology in Port Blair.

  2. Does any one have any information about the Kallar community from Veppur, Tamil Nadu which was brought by the British to Andamans some time in early 20th century? They are now called a ‘deotified tribe’ by the Indian government (the British had decalred t hem a criminal tribe). Thank you

      • That’s most kind of you! Thanks so much. There is an existing organisation called Andaman Mukkulathor Sangam which might have Kallar members, as Mukkulathor is an umbrella name for Kallar, Akamudayar, Maravar, and perhaps Thevar communities too. We know for sure through historical research than in early 20th century, Salvation Army which was a missionary organisation worked with Kallars and other so called ‘criminal tribes’ in Madras Presidency (and also rest of British India). What I precisely want to know is 1) whether Salvation Army was ever in charge of Kallar families who were deported under the Criminal Tribes Act to Andamans and put into a criminal tribe settlement in A & N somewhere. 2) If yes, where is that settlement TODAY in A & N, and what is the exact address.

        Sorry for this rather long post, but I have been very encouraged by your prompt response, and look forward to hearing from you. Thank you again.

  3. Sorry, I wanted to say something right in the beginning of the earlier post: This Andaman Mukkulathor Sangam which I mentioned, I found on the web. If it is contacted, some information which I am requesting may be available from them on the phone, or through a visit. Thanks.

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