Tribes of Rajasthan constitute 12% of the total population. The main tribal communities of Rajasthan are Bhil tribe and Meena tribe. The major concentration of these tribes of Rajasthan is found mainly in the foothill of Vindhya, Aravalli mountain ranges. Each and every tribes of Rajasthan have contributed with their unique customs and rituals, thereby making the whole of the culture of Tribes of Rajasthan are quite enriched. Their styles of making houses, festivals, costumes all bear witness to the cultural exquisiteness of the tribes of Rajasthan.
Major Tribal Comunities of Rajasthan are:-
- Meena Tribe :- Mina TribeMeena, also spelled as Mina, is a community principally found in the state of Rajasthan. The name of this community has been derived from the word Meen, which means fish in Sanskrit language. The Minas mainly reside in northern part of Rajasthan including some areas like Sawai Madhopur District, Dausa District, Jaipur, Dholpur and Karauli districts in Jaipur and Bharatpur region. The ancient Indian scripture Rig Veda depicts that the kingdom of the Meenas was called Matsya Kingdom in Sanskrit. The people of Meena tribe of Rajasthan had been worshipping Lord Shiva, Lord Hanuman and Lord Krishna as well as the Devis (Mother goddesses) till date. Meena tribal community shares space with other tribes including the community of Bhil tribe.The Mina community was ramified primarily in four basic sectors the Zamindar Mina, the Chaukidar Meenas, Parihar Meenas and the Bhil Meena.
- Garasia Tribe :- are basically concentrated in different parts of this state namely Kotra, Abu Road tehsil of Sirohi, Bali and Desuri tehsils of Pali districts, Gogunda and Kherwara tehsils of Udaipur.The word ‘Garasias’ is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘gras’ that signifies the substance.the houses of these Garasia tribes are small, a Garasia male of the household can perform all the household chores on his own. These Garasia tribes in general reside in one-room houses prepared from mud and bamboo. The society of the Garasia tribe is controlled by the Panchayet and the village head Patel takes the major decisions related to the village and the villagers. The position of a woman is not high in a Garasia tribal community. Like any other patriarchal society, the Garasia tribal females also are not permitted to possess property.
- Bishnoi Tribe :- Bishnoi tribe inhabits the area around Barmer and traces their ancestry to a saint and ascetic named Jambhaji, regarded by them as an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, whom they worship. The Bishnois are strict vegetarians and also ardent protectors of trees and wildlife. Ten doctrines among the twenty nine are directed towards personal hygiene and maintaining good basic health, seven for healthy social behaviour, and five tenets to worship God. Eight tenets have been prescribed to preserve bio-diversity and encourage good animal husbandry. The Bishnoi tribe worship the animals as god and maintain a healthy ecological balance of nature.Its important to mention the initiative by bishnoi community in preservation kejri tree.
- Gadia Lohar Tribe :- Gadia Lohar is a nomadic community of Rajasthan and this community literally means ‘blacksmith in a vehicle’. Tattoos are popular among the Gadia Lohars and believed to ward off misfortune.
- Meghval :- This community has hailed from Marwar in Rajasthan.The primary occupation of Meghval community was weaving fabric specially Khadi.
- Rabari Tribe :- Rabari are the worshippers of Mata Devi and they worship her in all her natural elements, the most popular being the peacock feather and the conch shell.
- Sahariya Tribe :- Sahariya Tribe is the only primitive tribe of the Rajasthan state, residing in the Shahabad and Kishanganj Panchayat Samitis of Baran District.
- Kalbeliya:– The Kalbelias were known for their frequent movement from one place to another in ancient times. Their main occupation is catching snakes and trading snake venom. Hence, the dance movements and the costumes of their community bear a resemblance to that of the serpents. They are also known as Sapera, Jogira or Jogi. They follow Hinduism. They trace their ancestry from Kanlipar, the 12th disciple of Guru Gorakhnath.