Indigenous facts to gain on Native knowledge

Tribes around the world:

  • The United Nations’ (UN) International Indigeneous Day is observed on the 9th of August, every year.

  • The event aims to ‘Promote and Protect the rights of the world’s indigeneous population’ and also recognise the achievements and contributions that indigenous people make to improve world issues such as environmental protection.

  • The theme for the year 2016 is – ‘Indigenous people’s Right to Education’

  • Access to Education and Retention & Achievement have been recognised as the major hindrances faced by the indigeneous pupil around the world.

  • Rebang Dewan, a Chackma boy from Bangladesh created the artwork of the UN permanent forum on indigeneous issues. Rebang’s artwork is often seen together with the UN logo, for such occasions.

  • There are a total of 370 million indigeneous people in the world inhabiting 70 countries around the world and representing only 5% of the total world’s population. 80% of this population is found in Asia and South East Asia.

  • Indigenous peoples constitute about 5% of the world’s population yet account for about 15% of the world’s poor (International Fund for Agricultural Development- IFAD)

  • More than 100 pharmaceutical companies are currently investing on projects focussing on the indigeneous plants used by native/ indigeneous healers

Tribes in India:

  • 8.6 percent of India’s total population is constituted by Tribals- 104 million approximately. (Acc. to 2011 census) thus, making it the World’s largest population of Tribal people.

  • 573 communities have been recognised by the Government of India as Scheduled Tribes and many more are yet to be identified. The 573 tribal communities are eligible to receive special benefits and can compete for reserved seats in legislatures and schools.

  • Tribal people in India have been termed as ‘Adhivasis’. Adhivasi is an umbrella term for the heterogenous set of ethnic and tribal groups considered as the aboriginal populace of India. Terms such as Atavika, Vanavasi (forest dwellers) or Girijan (hill people) have also been used for the tribes.

  • Birsa Munda, the tribal leader from Jharkhand is considered as one of the key leaders tribal freedom fighters (Indian tribal indigenous religious millanarian movement) in the tribal belts of Bihar and Jharkhand. He is the only tribal leader whose portrait hangs in the Central Hall of the Indian Parliament.

  • Matrilineality, one of the unique societal systems in which each person is identified with their matriline, is practiced by the Khasi, Jaintia and Garo people. They form the largest group of people to be practicing this form of desendance.

  • Jarawa people are of the last surviving tribes of the Andaman and Nicobar islands. The last speaker of their tribe passed away four years back. The tribe is facing rapid extinction due to the abrupt contact of the tribes with the outside world.

Compiled by – Media Team



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