Tribes, Nomads and Settled Communities
Text Book Page No. 92
On a physical map of the sub¬continent, identify the areas in which tribal people may have lived.
[Hint : According to the book, tribes used to live in forests, hills, deserts and places different to reach. Therefore, you can search such areas on the physical map of the subcontinent and shade them. Also see Map 1 on Text Book Page 93.
Text Book Page No 95
Find out how grain is transported from villages to cities at present. In what ways is this similar to or different from the ways in which the Banjaras functioned?
At present, grain is transported from villages to cities in lorries, trucks, trains, etc. The present-day method of grain transportation is much faster than the method of Banjaras who used bullock-carts for grain transportation.
Text Book Page No. 99
Discuss why the Mughals were interested in the land of the Gonds.
- The territory of Gonds was in central part of the subcontinent.
- Mughals ruled over the northern part. They wished to expand their control over the southern kingdoms of the subcontinent.
- In order to do that, they first had to take control in the central part of the subcontinent which was ruled by Gonds.
- Therefore, Mughals were interested in the land of the Gonds.
Text Book Page No. 100
Why do you think the Mughals tried to conquer the land of the Ahoms ?
- Ahoms ruled the north-east region of the subcontinent, Mughals in order to expand their domain in the entire subcontinent, tried to conquer the land of Ahoms.
- Also, the land of Ahoms was a rich source of forest produce and animals such as elephants were war animals. They also led to the Mughal attack on the land of Ahoms.
Text Book Page No. 101
You are a member of a nomadic community that shifts residence every three months. How would this change your life ?
- I think, due to a nomadic life, my education would be highly disturbed otherwise I would have to live in a hostel. That would result in the separation of the family.
- I would get a chance to see many new places, to go through unknown, unexplored forests.
Therefore, my life would be changed in both positive and negative manners.
Exercise Questions and Answers
Match the following
|Sib Singh||Ahom state|
|Sib Singh||Ahom state|
Fill in the blanks :
(а) The new castes emerging within varnas were called _______.
(b) _______ were historical works written by the Ahoms.
(c) The _______ mentions that Garha Katanga had 70,000 villages.
(d) As tribal states became bigger and stronger, they gave land grants to _______ and _______
State whether true or false :
(a) Tribal societies had rich oral traditions.
(b) There were no tribal communities in the north-western part of the subcontinent.
(c) The chaurasi in Gond states contained several cities.
(d) The Bhils lived in the north-eastern part of the subcontinent.
What kinds of exchanges took place between nomadic pastoralists and settled agriculturists ?
The following kinds of exchanges took place between nomadic pastoralists and settled agriculturists.
- They exchanged milk, other pastoral products such as, wool, ghee, etc.
- Agriculturists gave them grain, cloth, utensils and other products.
How was the administration of the Ahom state organised ?
The administration of the Ahom state was organised in the following manner :
- The Ahom state depended upon forced labour or paiks.
- The census of the population was taken.
- Each village had to send a number of pajks by rotation.
- People from heavily populated areas were shifted to less populated places. Ahom clans were thus broken up.
- By the first half of the 17th century, the administration became quite centralised.
What changes took place in vama-based society?
The following changes took place in varna-baseA society:
- Smaller castes or jatis emerged within varnas.
- Many tribes and social groups were taken into caste-based society and given the status of jatis.
- Specialised artisans-smiths, carpenters and masons – were also recognised as separate jatis by the Brahmanas.
- Jatis rather than varna, became the basis for organising society.
- Among the Kshatriyas, new Rajput clans became powerful by the eleventh and twelfth centuries.
How did tribal societies change after being organised into a state ?
The tribal societies changed in the following manner:
- They began to evolve a centralised administrative system.
- Some social divisions within a tribal society also took place.
- Tribal kings began to grant land to Brahmanas, poets and scholars.
- Tribal kings also wished to ‘be recognised as other famous kings of the subcontinent, such as.
- Tribal kingdoms began to annex smaller neighbouring kingdoms. For example, Ahom annexed kingdoms of Chhutiyas and Koch- Hajo.
- In order to build a large state, Ahoms used firearms.
- Literary development such as translation of Sanskrit work into local language and writing history in Ahom language were also new developments.
Were the Banjaras important for the economy?
Yes, the Banjaras were important for the economy in the following ways :
- Banjaras were trader-nomads.
- Under Sultan Alauddin Khalji, Banjaras used to transport to the city markets.
- According to Emperor Jahangir, Banjaras carried grain on their bullocks from different areas and sold it in towns.
- Banjaras transported food grains for the Mughal army during military campaigns.
In what ways was the history of the Gonds different from that of the Ahoms ? Were there any similarities ?
There were following differences in the history of Ahoms and Gonds :
|Ahoms expanded their rule by wedging war against kingdoms of chhutiyas and Koch-Hajo. They did not have marriage alliances.||Gonds were influenced by Rajputs, In order to gain power and recognition , they had marriage alliances with Rajputs.|
|Ahoms were migrants of Brahmaputra valley from present-day Myanmar.||Gonds were not migrants.|
|The Ahom state was dependent upon the forced labour.||Gond state was not dependent upon the forced Labour.|
|Ahoms introduced the new methods of rice cultivation.||Gonds did not introduce the new methods of rice Cultivation.|
|Under Ahom king sib singh, Hinduism became a predominant religion.||Gond society was further divided into unequal social classes.|
|Ahom society was more developed.||Gond society was not as developed as Ahoms.|
|Gonds Practised shifting cultivation.|
Yes, Ahom and Gonds had following similarities:
- Both the tribal states were attacked by Mughals at different times. This became a cause of their decline.
- Both of them, in order to enjoy raised social status, pleased Brahmanas, by granting them lands.
- Both of these tribes evolved centralised administrative systems.
Plot the location of the tribes mentioned in this chapter on the map. For any two, discuss whether their mode of livelihood was suited to the geography and the environment of the area where they lived.
(1) Bhil – Bhils used to live in the western part of the subcontinent which was full of forests and fertile land. Bhils were engaged in agriculture and hunting-gathering. Therefore, their occupation suited to the geography of the area where they lived.
(2) Ahom – The Ahom people used to live in north-east. The area received heavy rainfall. It also had plenty of water as Brahmaputra river flows in this area. And Ahom people were rice cultivators. Therefore, their occupation matched to the geography of their area.
Find out about present-day government policies towards tribal populations and organise a discussion about these.
Students, do yourselves.
[Hint-You can discuss the reservation policy of government for Scheduled Tribes which ensure them a prescribed number of seats in educational and government jobs.]
Find out more about present- day nomadic pastoral groups in the subcontinent. What animals do they keep ? Which are the areas frequented by these groups ?
Some of the main present-day nomadic pastoral groups of the subcontinent are-Gujjars (J & K), Gaddis (Himachal), Bhotiyas, Monpas (north-east), Raikas (Rajasthan), Banjaras (Central India), Dhangars (Maharashtra) and Maldharis (Gujarat). These pastoralists keep sheep, buffaloes, camels, etc.