Community Ethnographies


Most descriptions of Adivasi communities have so far been shaped by colonial ethnographic sources and colonial ethnographic methods. Consequently, there is a lack of adequate information and understanding regarding the social organization, cultural conventions, agricultural practices and economic perspectives of Adivasi communities. More particularly, there is very limited knowledge about ‘Primitive Vulnerable Tribes’, pastoral and coastal communities. Consequently, development planning directed towards these communities has not been as effective as desired.

Considering the gap between development plans and the social practices of Adivasi communities, the Adivasi Academy has undertaken a novel study series, named ‘Insider Ethnography’. The Ethnographies are written by ethnographers from within the community, who are provided research orientation by the Academy. The ethnographies contain community descriptions covering a wide range of themes as location, occupation, customs, rituals and stories of origin; kinds of beliefs, familial and social aspects; forms of expressions, notions of well-being, transition into modernity and globalization and the nature and dynamics of change.

Bhasha has so far prepared 90 Ethnographies, mainly covering communities in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. The ethnographies are prepared in the state language, ie, Gujarati, Marathi and Hindi. In order to make it more widely accessible, Bhasha is now beginning to translate the ethnographies into English.