Vol. 4, Issue 1 (2017)
Tribes in Uttarakhand: Status and diversity
Author(s): Dr. Digar Singh Farswan
Abstract: Tribes of Uttarakhand mainly comprise five major groups namely Jaunsari tribe, Tharu tribe, Raji tribe, Buksa tribe and Bhotiyas. In terms of population Jaunsari tribe is the largest tribal group of the state. Tribes of Uttarakhand represent the ethnic groups residing in the state. Every district of Uttarakhand has more or less a moderate percentage of tribal population. In the state of Uttarakhand, the main concentration of tribal population is in the rural areas. As per records, around 94.50 percent of total tribal population resides in rural areas and the remaining percentage of tribal population lives in urban centers. It is said that officially Uttarakhand is the home of around five tribes. These tribes of Uttarakhand have been scheduled in the Constitution of India. Historical records suggest that the tribes of Uttarakhand are earliest settlers of this region of North India. In the past, their main concentrations were confined to remote hilly and forested areas. The tribes of Uttarakhand have retained their age old traditional ways of living. They represent the distinctive culture and traits of a primitive life. Their traditional norms and socio-cultural practices determine their ethnicity. Officially Uttarakhand is home to as many as five tribes which have been scheduled in the Constitution of India, more than four decades back in 1967. I have often wondered at the bewildering diversity one witnesses in the habitat, population, ethnicity, socio- cultural norms and practices, modes of livelihoods, languages and dialects and their interactions both with each other and the rest of the inhabitants in their neighborhoods.