Tribes in India is one of the favorite topics of UPSC .Generally UPSC asks one to two questions in prelims and there are 100s of tribes in India so it is hard for aspirants to remember or candidates get less cost benefit ratio so they don’t cover portion of it.

This article “Tribes in India” contains very minute and exact informations that are needed for different exams.

So we therefore have compiled a list of tribes in India.

Part 2 of 2(tribes in India series)

Khonds / Dongaria Khonds

  • Orissa
  • They are indigenous tribal groups in Orissa.
  • Their native language is Kui, a Dravidian language written with the Oriya script.
  • They are nature worshipping forest dwellers.
  • Vedanta Resources, mining company, was set to destroy the forests, wildlife and way of life of the Dongria Kondh people. Their four year long protests finally paid off as the government has now banned Vedanta from mining in Niyamgiri Mountain and in their forests.


  • Odisha
  • They live in the isolated hill regions of the Malkangiri districtof southwestern Odisha.
  • They are one among the Primitive Tribal Groups identified by GOI.
  • They are generally semi-clothed, the women wear thick silver neck bands.
  • The Gov of Orissa had setup Bonda Development Agency (BDA) in 1977 with the aim of bringing Bonda’s into the mainstream

Oarons /Kurukh

  • Odisha ,Bihar, Jharkhand, WB
  • They mainly depend on agriculture for earning their living.
  • Most of them are engaged in the occupation of tea cultivation.
  • They are considered to have the second largest population of tribes in Bihar and Jharkhand
  • They speak Kurukhlanguage related to Dravidian family.


  • Madhya Pradesh
  • It is on the brink of extinctionbecause of the tribe members’ inability to conceive
  • They reside in a remote village called Harrai.
  • There are only about 30 families left — all childless couples who are either old or middle-aged and past their reproductive age.

Kol(means human)

  • Madhya Pradesh
  • Other states include Bihar, UP, Chhattisgarh, Assam, Tripura
  • It is one of the most ancient tribesof India, whose mention is found in the Rig Veda and many other mythological scriptures.
  • Most of them are landless and work on farm as laborers and sharecroppers
  • They prefer to live in groups near the villages called as Kolhan


  • Chhattisgarh
  • They are a sub-group of the Gonds and inhabit the forests and plains of central India. They live along the Indrawati River, which flows through the Bastar district.
  • They survive mainly by farming, hunting, and   eating the fruits of the forest.
  • The ghotul, or temporary dormitory for unmarried youth, is a significant building within the Muria villages within the Muria villages

Pahari Korwa/ Korba

  • Chhattisgarh, Bihar
  • They belong to Austro-Asiatic family
  • The Korwas are divided into Pahari Korwa and Dihari Korwa.
  • The main concentration is in Jashpur, Sarguja & Raigarh.
  • They are medium to short height have a dark brown or black skin.
  • Fishing and hunting are practiced as occupation.
  • Karma dance is very popular dance and all the villagers participate in it.


  • Chhattisgarh
  • Two types: Abhuj Maria and Bison Horn Maria
  • Both are sub castes of the Gond tribals.
  • Abhuj Maria:
  • Ø  They live in isolation and inhabit the secluded enclaves of Narayanpur tehsil of Bastar District
  • Ø  They fear mankind
  • Ø  They are one of the few tribes that have many to keep their quintessential culture alive and unaffected by the vestiges of time
  • Bison Horn Maria:
  • Ø  They are found in MP and Maharashtra also
  • Ø  Their introvert nature makes them live in isolation in the interiors of dense forest areas
  • Ø  They derived their name from their unique custom of wearing a distinctive headdress, which resembles the horns of a wild bison

Sahariya(meaning residents of Jungle)

  • Rajasthan
  • Only primitive tribe of Rajasthan residing in the Baran district
  • They follow Hindu religion and speak a dialect influenced by Hadoti.
  • the people of this tribe are once again in the miserable condition.
  • In the absence of sources of livelihood, this tribal group is again forced to resort to migration

Mina/ Meena(meaning fish)

  • Rajasthan
  • They are found in the northern part of Rajasthan.
  • Originally a nomadic, warlike people practicing animal breeding and known for lawlessness, today most of them are farmers.
  • At the time of British rule, this community had been acclaimed as criminal tribe

Irulas(meaning darkness)

  • Tamil Nadu
  • They are inhabitants of the scrub jungles of Southern India belonging to the Negrito (or Negroid) race
  • Hunter-gatherers by tradition, their expertise in catching snakesis legendary
  • Most of them are wage laborers working in tea estates now.


  • Tamil Nadu
  • It is one of the oldest tribal communities in the Nilgiris.
  • The main occupation of the people in this community is agriculture. Tea plantation is the major agriculture here.
  • They are socially, educationally and even economically advanced now.
  • The Badaga language is a mixture of Kannada and Tamil and there is no script for this language.
  • They are Hindus of Shiva sect.

Kota(Ko meaning mountain)

  • Tamil Nadu
  • They have been living in the Nilgiri mountains for ages
  • They are found living only in seven settlements, referred to by them as Kokkals
  • They are the only artisan communityon the hills of the Nilgiris
  • Most of the crafts practiced by them are on the decline.
  • The major festival is the annual Kamatra-ya festival


  • Kerala
  • They belong to a traditionally nomadic community, who now lead a primarily settled life in the forests of the Agast-Hymalai hillsof the Western Ghats
  • They have an extremely rich and unique Traditional Knowledge about the use of the resources, particularly the biological resources around them
  • They introduced Tropical Botanical Garden and Research Institute (TBGRI) to a medicinal plant in their forest from which a drug named’jeevani’ was isolated and commercialized

Uralis(means ruler of a locality)

  • Kerala and Tamil Nadu
  • They  are mostly found on the Idukki hillsof Kerala
  • Agriculture is the main occupation.
  • They worship nature as Gods and inventor of the world.

Lambada / Banjaras/ Sugalisa

  • Andhra Pradesh
    They are thelargest tribe of AP.
  • They live in exclusive settlements of their own called Tandas, usually away from the main village, tenaciously maintaining their cultural and ethnic identity.
  • They are expert cattle breedersand largely subsist by sale of milk and milk products.


  • Andaman
  • They are one of the indigenous peoples of the Andaman Islands. They have inhabited the islands for thousands of years
  • Their present numbers are estimated at between 250–400 individuals.
  • Since they have largely shunned interactions with outsiders, many particulars of their society, culture and traditions are poorly understood.


  • Andaman
  • Theyare one of the Andamanese indigenous peoples and one of the most remote tribes of the Andaman Islands.
  • They inhabit North Sentinel Island.
  • They are noted for vigorously resisting attempts at contact by outsiders.
  • The Sentinelese maintain an essentially hunter-gatherer society subsisting through hunting, fishing, and collecting wild plants; there is no evidence of either agricultural practices or methods of producing fire.
  • Their language remains unclassified.


  • Great Nicobar Island
  • They are one of the last surviving stone-age tribes in the world.
  • They wander in their forest and coastal habitat in search of food.
  • They are also on the brink of extinction as the four other hunter-gatherer tribes (the Jarawa, the Andamanese, the Onge and the Sentinelese).
  • They are of mongoloidstock unlike the other primitive tribes of the Andaman Islands which are negrito

Onges(means ‘we people’)

  • Little Andaman
  • A negrito tribe with just 96 in number now.
  • They are divided into 5 families comprising of 15 members in all living in South Bay
  • They are pure hunter-gatherers and are not aware of agriculture

So here we conclude our series of two papers on Tribes in INDIA ,We have tried our very best to compile most of the important  tribe  but if you want to read more about tribes in india you can download the whole paper issued by ministry of tribal affairs by clicking on this link.


Thankyou and all the best and keep in mind Ek Saathi Aur Bhi Tha.

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