Happy World Indigenous Day - Celebrated the First People in the World

by Swagata Sarkar September 05, 2022

Learn More about Indigenous Day and Why It is Celebrated around the World

With 9th August coming up pretty soon, it is time to remember and celebrate quite literally the first people on earth, or as we commonly call them – the Natives. The 9th of August is celebrated as ‘Happy World Indigenous Day’. It is the day when we keep in mind the natives who still roam the earth and live harmoniously with modern society. It is a celebration of the connection that the modern world has with the old, traditional one. 


People from a tribe


People from a Tribe


When the term ‘Natives’ is brought up in conversations, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Well, certainly you would think of people in brightly coloured clothes, celebrating important festivals, small huts, and people dancing around the fire. However, that is not all that these natives or tribes have that is important to the world. There are different unique aspects of the natives that make them almost precious to the entire world. So, to celebrate this World Indigenous Day, we are going to talk about some natives from India who have managed to stand the test of time and still live in harmony with modern society and nature. 


Celebrating the Natives in India on World Tribal Day

Every year in August, the world observes World Tribal Day across the globe in order to defend and promote the rights of all the indigenous people on the planet. On this day, we are to honour the contributions and achievements of local and tribal communities toward the success and prosperity of a nation as a whole. In the year 1982, the first meeting took place for the United Nations on 9th August related to the indigenous people. The meeting took place in Geneva, Switzerland and ever since then we have celebrated this day with great pomp and show all over the world.


On that note, let us have a look at a few of these indigenous tribes that belong to our nation of India and celebrate their achievements through time. 

  • Chenchu 

Originated and primarily found in certain parts of Telangana, Odisha, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh, the tribe of Chenchu covers a huge portion of the landmass that these states have. The people belonging to this tribe have originated their own language called the Chenchu language. Although the population of this particular tribe is starting to dwindle rapidly, they take up a large portion of the forest space in the area. With the Chenchu currently being a tribe of 70,000 people, they occupy the areas where city establishments have not yet entered. Their main income and food sources are from foraging the forest resources along with hunting. 

  • Toto

The name might sound a bit unfamiliar to you since this is a tribe that has been isolated for a very long time. However, the remarkable fact is that this tribe is one of the oldest in India and are located in Totopara, a very isolated section in the Alipurduar district of West Bengal. The population of this tribe is currently very low with only 5000 people remaining to carry their legacy. These indigenous people of the tribe have a common deity called Ishpa who is known to cause illness and diseases when displeased. So, in order to please their deity, the people from the tribe offer him animals. Apart from that, the Toto people also worship someone called Cheima who is the saviour of the tribe and shields them from illness. In return, the village people offer her fowl and rice. Since it is one of the oldest tribes in the nation, the Toto tribe definitely deserves a mention during International Tribal Day. 

  • Kodava

The ancient tribe has a war-like origin and the people of the tribe hail from the regions of Kodagu and Coorg. The Kodava tribe is also considered to be one of the oldest tribes in India and people there are often seen carrying rifles. However, due to their tradition as well as to show the wealth that they have gained over the years, they don’t put the guns to any use unless there is a festival in the area. The current popularity of the tribe is more than 500000. However, with the help of other societies around the tribe, they have prospered enough to become landowners in civilized societies. 

  • Warli

You have been living under a rock if you haven’t heard about the ‘Warli’ art form which is quite popular in the country. This art form has been carried over from ancient times and now stands to be the symbol of the tribe. An interesting fact about the Warli tribe is that they have their own language that they speak. Although it is an unwritten language, Varli is spoken by almost everyone belonging to the tribe. The people of the Warli tribe mostly reside in the areas of Gujarat and Maharashtra, in the coastal regions. The current population of this tribe is somewhere around 2,55,271. In fact, Warli is one of the most popular tribes that we know about in India. 

  • Nyishi

Another tribe that we would like to mention in our list for Indigenous Faith Day is the Nyishi Tribe. These people come from certain parts of Assam but a huge population of the tribe is actually found in Arunachal Pradesh. The Nyishi tribe has worked over centuries to hone their craft of carpentry, blacksmithing, and weaving. Apart from that, they are also skilled in wood carving, pottery, and cane and bamboo crafts. This is basically one of their income sources. Even the Nyishi people have their own language which is called Nyishi. 


Know More about Indigenous People on International Indigenous Day

There are many people who don’t even know what World Tribal Day is and it is a sad thing indeed. These natives of tribes around the world deserved to be recognized for the work that they have done over the years. So, celebrating World Indigenous Day has become more important these days. Living in big cities and being a part of the civilized world, we should forget the people who were here before us, the Tribals.