In an era where quite a few number of tribal communities are leaving their tradition and culture behind, moving away from age-old-tradition towards mainstream civilization where they have access to water, electricity, healthcare and other public utilities. Some of the tribal communities still continue with their so called endogenous heritage. Many examples can be observed where some tribal communities joined the mainstream successfully. And today they are enjoying the same services which were beyond their reach and not accessible to them few years back.
However it is not a story of all the tribals. There are many such tribal communities exist across India which are still not prepared to give-up the life style, they have been following from centuries, and join main stream. May be they are not comfortable with the idea or may be their living do not allow them to do so or they may not be getting enough support which is needed or there may be other reasons too. Even today these people wear colorful attire, follow age-old-tradition so passionately like nothing else, carrying their endogenous but endangered skills forward.
I witnessed such a community few months back in Banni region of Kutch in Gujarat. There are many tribal communities one can witness in this region, but the one which stands out for me is Jat community.
The Jat community is a cattle-herding nomadic Muslim community who migrated from Sindh region where some members of the tribe still reside. The tribe is largely known for its finest art and craft work, elegant leather work, great embroidery, fine wood carving. The community is very good at pastoral work. Even today they own cattle, and sell milk and butter which is the large source of their income hence living.
The tribe still continue with their tradition. Women wear headscarf to cover their head, and often their face. They wear gold nd silver heavy and weird jewellery in nose, ears nd neck. Also on head which gives them a completely different look. On top of this they wear colourful attire. Girls in community are not allowed to talk to strangers untill they get married. Older female can talk but it rarely happens. It is also male-dominated society as many others in India.
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