Tribal Museum Agartala

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I visited Tripura in December 2014. The Tribal Museum in Agartala has a very good pictorial collection of each tribe along with history. There are 19 tribes in the state. Tribals have migrated from Tibet, parts of Burma and Central India. Linguistically Tripura cd be divided into Bodo, Kuki-Chin and Arakan. Most tribes are Hindus. Lusai-kukkis are Christian and Chakmas/Mogs are Buddhists.

Hojagiri Dance of the Reang tribe. This is among the most popular dances of Tripura - saw it during the Sangai Festival, crowds loved it. It is performed during Laxmi Puja on the full moon day of October.

U see traditional method of husking paddy.

Tangbiti or Jhum dance of Tripuri community.The dance mainly based on Jhum related livelihood.

Garia dance of Jamatia tribes. It is mainly performed by Kokborok speaking tribes. The community call the deity as Baba Garia who is directly related with good harvest, family peace and prosperity. Young boys and girls participate in the dance where songs and music continue for 7 days.

From now on format is board ka pic followed by tribe ka pic. Kukis fond of music and dance. Traditionally they were animists and worshipped various deities and spirits. However, last 90 odd years they converted to Christianity. LAL is a term used to denote village chief.

Kuki tribe. Tawndang dance is a socio-religious dance of the community. It is performed in a group near a burial ground in the memory of the fore-father.

Tripuri tribe were the rulers of Tripura. Legendary music director R D Burman belonged to this tribe. So also husband of Bengali actress Moon Moon Sen belongs to this tribe. They are the largest tribe in Tripura, speak in Kok-Borok dialect, follow Shakti and Vaishnavism and have colorful folk dances. Could you dream that R D Burman was a tribal?

Tripuri tribe. In kok-borok dialect Lord Shiva is called SUBRAI RAJA and worshipped by local tribes. Mamita Dance is performed by the Tripuri community and Halam tribe.

Ujjayanta Palace in Agartala that was the pre-independence home of the Maharaja of Tripura. The king belonged to the tripuri tribe, today he is probably classified as an Other Backward Caste or OBC ie why a bust of Dr B R Ambedkar is placed as one enters the palace grounds.

Lushai tribe commonly known as Mizos. During first part of 19th century most Mizos converted to Christianity.

Mizos known for their Cheraw or bamboo dance ie what you see. Girls dance at the rhythm of dram and bamboos. The color combincation of dress and stepping in between bamboos creates a rhythmic atmosphere.

Reang are the second largest tribe community in Tripura, belong to Indo-Mongoloid racial stock. They are a nomadic tribe, worship number of deities all Hindu, large number of them are Vaishnavs.

Reang tribe.

Chakma are one of the major tribes of Tripura, said to have originated from S.E. Asia. They are Buddhist.

Chakma tribe is fond of dance and music. Their community dance is called Biju dance which is performed during the end of the Bengali Calendar year.

Uchai tribe live in Tripura since times immemorial, migrated from Arakan hills of Burma. They are Hindus with belief in God and super natural forces. Some of them have converted to Christianity.

Uchai tribe.

Jamatia tribe have distinct feature of Mongoloid origin. They speak in Kok-Borok language ie of the Tibeto-Burman family. Jamatias were the major strength of the Royal Family of Tripura.They are Hindus, follow Sakti- cult and Vaishnavism.

Jamatia tribe are fond of their local dance and have a special Garla dance. Some caption details taken from booklet published by the Tribal Research and Cultural Institute, Tripura.

Khasia are a Meghalaya tribe found in few numbers in Tripura.

From the last part of the 18th (should be 19th) they embraced Christianity.

Bhutia are a Himalayan tribe found in very few numbers today.

Bhutia tribe.

BHIL are one of the oldest tribes of India. This tribe migrated from central India, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar, most employed in tea gardens. They worship deities of forests and evil spirits besides Durga Puja and Shivji.

Bhils are Hindus although some of them have embraced Christianity. Bhils are fond of dance and music.

Though Noatia were part of Tripura they are considered as new comers. They have 11 major clans and are Hindus.

Noatia tribe.

ORANG is a immigrant tribe from Bihar, MP and West Bengal who mainly reside in tea garden areas. They are Hindus and follow Sakti cult.

ORANG girls dress themselves beautifully with silver ornaments and saris.

Halam are known as Mila -Kuki and are divided into several clans. They are basically Hindus and followers of Sakti-cult.

Their dances are most popular. The Kolio group dance is very colorful and dedicated to deity ''Sangrama''. It is performed in connection with Navanna Utsav in the month of November.

Chaimal are a very small tribe of Tripura. Essentially Hindus some of them have converted to Christianity.

Chaimal tribe too have their fold dance though performed occasionally.

Garo are an immigrant tribe in Tripura, mainly from Garo Hills of Meghalaya, their major migration took place after 1950. They are a matrilineal tribe where mother is the head of the family. Property right thereafter goes to the daughter of the family. Garos are Hindus by tradition with similar socio-religious cultures although in the last 50 years large numbers converted to Christianity.

Wangala festival of the Garos is very important to them. To see pics of Applique work of ladies of Barmer in Rajasthan Click here

Santhal tribe belong to West Bengal, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh. They migrated as tea-laborers. They are Hindus and follow Sakti-cult. Some of them converted to Christianity. They perform the Jhumur dance during Holi and other festivals.

Santhal tribe. To see pictures of Bastar Tribal Craft Click here

Mog tribe migrated from Chittagong hill tracts and are Buddhist. Their dance is Sangraing dance on the eve of New Year. The umbrella used while dancing symbolise a holy sign of goodness among Mog society. To see pics of Shiv Khori Cave near Jammu Click here

Mog tribe annual festival is Wah. Their social, culture and beliefs are similar to Burmese. The community is famous for its folk medicine. To see pics of Tribes of Arunachal PradeshClick here

Local musical instruments displayed in tribal museum. To see pics of Haat Tribal Market in Bastar Click here

Munda are a central Indian tribe original homeland Chota Nagpur. They were brought into Tripura for tea gardens in the 19th century by the then king of Tripura. To see pictures of Beaches of Gokarna Click here

Mundas are Hindus. Priest plays an important part in their life. To see pictures of Jaisalmer Fort Click here

Local textiles displayed. Excellent museum. Thanks Tripura Tribal department. To visit their site Click here