The word tribe is variously used in literature to denote a community on
the basis of homogeneity. Originally many autochthonous communities who were identified by
similar culture, social organisation and governance, living away from the main stream life
of a country, were mentioned as tribe by their colonial rulers and Western scholars. Many
such communities have moved towards the mainstream lifestyle so that they may no longer be
identified as secluded, underdeveloped people with queer customs. This has happened to all
areas of the world where tribal communities live. Still, many tribal communities lead their
lives in very primitive ways devoid of the techno-economic glamour of contemporary civilization.
These communities are labeled as "Primitive Tribal Groups". Indian Government has identified
such tribal groups to give special attention to their development, whereas in the Indian
Constitution all the tribal groups are recognized as "scheduled tribes".
The colonial rulers had the intention to understand the nature and
customs of tribal people for the purposes of administration. Tribal people represent a
stage of human civilization, precursor to the present stage. So the litterateurs, journalists,
and film makers are interested in such communities, especially those living in inaccessible
hills, jungles, desert or islands. Anthropologists are involved in thorough scientific studies
of the tribal people and present the knowledge in a comprehensive way. Technological
civilization is advancing by leaps and bounds and electronic media has made deep inroads into
peoples' lives, providing opportunities for more information in audio-visual ways.
There is plenty of literature and there are many journals on tribal affairs.
These are, however, of limited circulation and theme specificity. As a result, these journals
find place in the racks of academic and research institutions. In order to overcome these
limitations, the present attempt to launch an electronic magazine on the cyber network, which
can cater to the need of innumerable inquisitive minds requiring regular information on tribal
people. This e-zine: The Tribal Tribune will be in an easy format to make it palatable and
attractive even to non professionals, without diluting the academic value.
The Tribal Tribune will be online with a new issue every month* in English.
It will contain various information on tribal people, their aspirations, achievements and
conditions and will publish writings from various scholars on tribal study and shall carry
the reader: Beyond Spears & Feathers