People of India
India is a fascinating country where people of many different communities and
religions live together in unity. Indian Population is polygenetic and is an amazing
amalgamation of various races and cultures.
It is impossible to find out the exact origin of Indian People. The species
known as Ramapithecus was found in the Siwalik foothills of north western
Himalayas. The species believed to be the first in the line of hominids (Human
Family) lived some 14 million years ago. Researchers have found that a species
resembling the Austrapithecus lived in India some 2 million years ago. Even this
discovery leaves an evolutionary gap of as much as 12 million years since
There are many diverse ethnic groups among the
people of India. The 6 main ethnic groups are as follows.
Proto - Australoids or Austrics
Mediterranean or Dravidian
The Negritos or the Brachycephalic (broad headed) from Africa were the earliest
people to have come to India. They have survived in their original habitat
and Nicobar Islands. The Jarawas, Onges, Sentinelese and the Great Andamanese
are some of the examples. Some hill tribes like Irulas, Kodars, Paniyans and
Kurumbas are found in some patches in Southern part of mainland India.
Pro-Australoids or Austrics
These groups were the next to come to India after the Negritos. They
are people with wavy hair lavishly distributed all over their brown bodies,
long headed with low foreheads and prominent eye ridges, noses with low and
broad roots, thick jaws, large palates and teeth and small chins. The Austrics
of India represent a race of medium height, dark complexion with long heads
and rather flat noses but otherwise of regular features. Miscegenation with
the earlier Negroids may be the reason for the dark or black pigmentation of
the skin and flat noses.
The Austrics laid the foundation of Indian
civilization. They cultivated rice and vegetables and made sugar from sugarcane.
Now these people are found in some parts of India, Myanmar and the islands
of South East Asia. Their languages have survived in the Central and Eastern
These people are found in the North eastern part of India in the states
of Assam, Nagaland, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, and Tripura.
They are also found in Northern parts of West Bengal, Sikkim, and Ladakh. Generally
they are people with yellow complexion, oblique eyes, high cheekbones, sparse
hair and medium height.
These are the people of South India. They have been believed to come before
the Aryans. They have different sub-groups like the Paleo-Mediterranean, the
true Mediterranean, and the Oriental Mediterranean. They appear to be
people of the same stock as the peoples of Asia Minor and Crete and pre-
Hellenic Aegean's of Greece. They are reputed to have built up the city civilization
of the Indus valley, whose remains have been found at Mohenjo- daro and
Harappa and other Indus cities.
These include the Alpinoids, Dinarics and Armenoids. The Parsis and Kodavas
also fall in this category. They are the broad headed people living mainly on
the western side of the country such as the Ganga Valley and the delta, parts
of Kashmir, Kathiawar, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
Nordics or the Indo-Aryans
This group were the last one to immigrate to India. They came to India somewhere
between 2000 and 1500 B.C. They are now mainly found in the northern and central
part of India.