The Meaning and Definitions of Tribe

This part talks about the Indian tribes. It looks at the history of tribes, how the word "tribe" came to be used, how different the tribes of India are, how they interact with the rest of rural society, and how they make their living from natural resources. The profile would include their economic and social aspects, as well as the problems that the tribes are having right now.

The Meaning and Definitions of Tribe

The word "tribe" comes from Tribus, which is a Latin word that means "a group." A tribe can be thought of as: 
  1. Any group of people who share a common history, customs, and traditions or who follow the same leaders;
  2. A local division of an aboriginal people;  
  3. A group of people who have strong common traits or interests;
  4.  Any group of people who have a lot in common;  
  5. large family.
In the past, tribal communities were thought of as exotic and a sign of forbidden cultures that need to be preserved. This has led to some of their classifications since the colonial era. They have been called nomadic, criminal, vanvasi, adivasi, and so on, among other things. A list of scheduled tribes overrules these terms because it includes these tribes. The list itself is trying to build a group of groups called the scheduled tribes. Gives them credibility as people who have been approved by the government to be that way. Sociologists, census officials, and the government have given a lot of different names for tribes, which has made it hard to figure out how tribes should be categorised, understood, and treated. All of these things have an effect on the mainstreaming of tribes that is being encouraged by everyone who cares about tribal communities. Sometimes, it can be good for tribes, but other times, it can be bad for them (s).
Robert Redfield thinks that a tribe is a small group of people who have a lot of things in common, like 
  • Distinctiveness: where the community starts and where it ends is clear. This shows up in the group thought of the people in the community.
  •  Smallness: a small community in a small space
  • Homogeneity: all the people do the same things and have the same feelings. Each person has a similar way to make a living that has been passed down through the generations.
  • Self-sufficient- The community is self-sufficient and provides for most of the activities and needs of its people.

Tribes are a group of people who live together in a specific area and aren't split into groups that specialize in certain jobs. They are endogamous and don't have specific jobs, but they aren't like castes, where there is a lot of stigmas attached to them. Tribes follow their own traditions and customs and aren't afraid to mix in ideas from outside sources.

According to S.C. Dubey (1960), a "tribe" is usually a group of people who live in a certain area and are "relatively isolated from hills and forests."

In some ways, they haven't been able to fit in with the rest of the country's people. Because of their limited worldview, which includes a lack of historical depth and an overall traditional  orientation, they are integrated in terms of certain themes from the past. This is partly because of their isolation and partly because of their limited world view. Some people have hidden or obvious value-attitudes and motivational systems that are very different from the rest of the world. They have a unique culture because of these things.

Mandelbaum (1956) describes the features of Indian tribes as follows:
a) Kinship as a means of establishing social relationships.
b) A dearth of hierarchical relationships between men and groups.
c) The absence of a robust, sophisticated, and formal organizational structure.
d) Land ownership on a communal basis.
d) Segmentary personality.
f) Low regard for surplus accumulation, capital utilization, and market trading Absence of separation between religion's form and essence

Thus, a tribe is a social group of people defined by the following characteristics: 
a) homogeneity, 
b) isolation and non-assimilation, 
c) territorial-integrity,
 d) consciousness of unique identity and shared culture, 
e) animism (now defunct) as an all-pervasive religion, 
f) the existence of distinct social and political systems devoid of exploiting classes and organized state structure, 
g) multi-functionalist kinship relations,

Social scientists have questioned the premise of tribal homogeneity and egalitarianism. There is tremendous inequality in terms of economic and political rights pertaining to marriage control, the exchange of allied goods, and the redistribution process. India's tribes are enormously diverse. While tribes are claimed to live in exclusion and isolation from other societies, the historical relationships between tribes and non-tribes dating all the way back to time immemorial are sometimes overlooked.

Numerous tribal classifications are thus problematic; as a result, social scientists have neatly classified tribes using the officially recognised Scheduled Tribes. Article 342(i) of the Indian Constitution specifies that the President of India, after consulting with the governors of the states, may Each state may designate tribes and tribal communities, or segments of tribes or tribal communities, as Scheduled Tribes. This legal jargon has been widely accepted. Thus, for social workers and social scientists alike, the phrase is almost synonymous with the list of Scheduled Tribes. Tribe definitions continue to be used to describe specific kinds of pre-literate civilizations, which encompass a diverse variety of social organizational structures and levels of techno-economic development. Social workers draw on a range of disciplines to comprehend tribes, including sociology, anthropology, history, and political economy.
Given social workers' intention to transform communities toward self-sufficiency through social justice lenses, tribes are conceived in two ways: first, as irrational and traditional, with the need to modernize and rationalize them; and second, as exploited and defenseless.

Attempts to integrate them into the mainstream, on the other hand, are made without first defining what the mainstream is. As Pariyaram M Chacko points out, there are numerous aspects of tribal life that mainstream non-tribals might profitably adopt, including concepts of money, gender, equality, sex and marriage, and the idea of non-interference.


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