Thursday, August 16, 2018
Rajasthan

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Tribal Settlements

The scheduled area includes Dungarpur, Banswara and the Pratapgarh tehsil of Chittorgarh district. The heavily concentrated tribal area comprises Kherwara, Kotra, Gogunda, the Phalasia tehsils of Udaipur district, the Abu road tehsil of Sirohi district and the Achnera and Arnod Panchayatsamities of Chittorgarh  district. In sparsely populated tribal area, the non-tribal population is predominant. This area includes Tonk, Bhilwara and Alwar districts. 

The tribal population in Rajasthan is concentrated in belts running from Sirohi through the Udaipur, Dungarpur, Chittorgarh and Banswara districts to the Bundi, Kota, Sawai, Madhopur, Tonk and Jaipur districts. 

 The Bhils are not gypsies. The whole of the Bhil country which is the south-western part of  Rajasthan is mountainous, embracing the wildest area of the Aravallis. The Bhils live in pals or clusters of detached huts among the hills, each hut standing on a small mound in the midst of its path of cultivated land. The settlement or pal is divided into a number of paras or phalas which afford cover and protection in case of attack. A cluster of huts within a single enclosure forms a typical Bhil habitation in Rajasthan.

A Garasia settlement is not a cluster of houses. The dwellings are scattered over slopes of hills and mounds and the fields extend in front of them. These solitary dwellings are made of bamboo and leaves and lightly plastered over with cow-dung. 

The Meenas who constitute almost half of the tribal population used to live on rocky elevations or in thick forests and their settlements were called Mewasas. The cluster of their houses was also called a pal and was named after the gotra to which most of the inhabitants belonged. The Meenas were settled in the villages of  Jaipur, Sawai- Madhopur and Tonk districts. Of their two classes, the Purana Basi Meenas are mostly agriculturists while the Naya Basis belong to the light-fingered fraternity which prior to independence was subjected to daily attendance at the nearest police station under the Criminal Tribes Act.

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