Dhumkudiya 2018: An Adivasi dialogue series


By – Team Dhumkudiya

What is Dhumkudiya?

It’s an institution among Oraon tribe. Since early days over the evolution of tribes, it became an educational institute, providing opportunity to learn from ancestors – various aspects of life such as – culture, religious, occupational, and above all survival. The parallel institutions are Ghotul (among Koiturs), Giti-Ora (among Santals) and Selnedingo (among Bonda) where, the mode of education is oral. Today, Dhumkudiya is about erasing the demonic representation of tribes/adivasis from history, exposing and enhancing the alternative mode of development which tribes believe as sustainable. Further, survival is one of the most important questions and dhumkudiya is going to provide the stage and address different constituents of tribal life of sustainable development.

(Photo – Sarna Youth Welfare Group)

Why Dhumkudiya?

In the world of discussion and debate, tribes and their lives are one of the most ignored and marginalized and their views are hardly heard with a great importance. Tribes are already in the cobweb of the opinions, schools and ideas that have been put forth by outsiders without knowing the basic philosophy of tribes. Historically, the dominant civilization is always seen as the superior and rests try to follow the path traveled by them. To build the dominant civilization, the background creation, affirmative writing for every discipline is very important; irrespective of the heterogeneity.

Latin American scholar, Grimaldo Rengifo Vasquez states that, “In local indigenous thinking, living is what gives knowledge, not gathering up a lot of a priori facts about the nature of things. As they say, ‘To know you have to live’”. While many of the commentators recognize western knowledge to be important and strategically necessary for indigenous communities, they decry the relentless academic bias in western thought and in consequences this bias has wreaked on oral indigenous cultures, alienating indigenous education from culturally authentic ways of learning, knowing and remembering.

(Photo – Sarna Youth Welfare Group)

Social Scientist, Benjamin Barber tells us that, “education is systemic story telling” (1987, p.22). Education provides us with a narrative that defines our role in society. The formal education in India attempts to instill in us in a common set of values, a way of understanding the world and acting in it. But which story is ours? Who are the “We” that lay claim to the story that defines us as Indians? Who decides which story or stories will be taught in school, whose knowledge and preferences count, and what criteria will be used to assess these preferences?

In a multicultural society, educational practices must be informed by many different narratives that define our diverse cultural heritage. And yet, in most pluralist societies, where many cultures coexist, educational institutions tend to promote one story. In Dhumkudia perspective, the core values that lie beneath the surface of cultural patterns that inform different cultures’, understanding of the world, has largely ignored in our educational agenda. Unfortunately, assimilation is the only option left with, where multicultural society will lose the essence of multi and adivasis will finally abandon their ritual and tradition, whether how rich it is?

At the outset, the nominal independence that Indians get in 1947, there were several plans and special programmes that have been introduced in India for adivasis, but the real situation of adivasis are still the same. The rights, under 5th schedule of constitution, PESA (Panchayat Extension to Scheduled Area-1996), Forest Right Act (2006) and Tribal Sub Plan (1974) etc. are meager eyewash and never been properly designed to provide benefit to the adivasis. Similarly, there is Schedule Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 to save the indigenous communities from exploitation. Despite this, indigenous communities have many setbacks due to irresponsible and dishonest bureaucracy and politics. The ‘Dhumkudiya’ set forth to address these major issues as well.

(Photo – Sarna Youth Welfare Group)

At this juncture, scholars need to emphasize the authentic ways of learning, in life and through communal action, are holistic, ecological, spiritual, and healing. It is this very form of learning and knowing that the indigenous movement seeks to revitalize, value, honor, and embed into schools and other sites of learning, not only for the benefit of their own children, but for the healing of entire world.

The basic idea is that, you are living in the kingdom ruled by the carnivorous lions and unfortunately, ‘the deer’s history can never be written by lions, unless deer write their own’. Now when the adivasi scholars are being vocal in the academic world, merely being object and spectator is offence. Though, we have already traveled a long way, nourished by few earlier pathfinders but now it’s a grim necessity to go for a voyage, where we can expect some more milestones to be set in the coming future.

More often than not, tribes are always in the news in relation to poverty, hunger, constitutional rights, culture tradition, and inclusion in greater (non)civilized society and their resistance for survival and dignified life that everyone wants to live.  After much endured efforts by the various governments about the upheaval of the tribes in India, and the efforts by the tribes themselves have brought them in a foray of divergence in their life. The lifestyle of western economies through Industrialization and urbanization is one of them. Alternatively, one thinks in term of sustainable development through maintaining the productive capacity of the capital throughout the human life. In fact, the most of the indigenous people in the world that they want to live in have alternative thought in mind and tribal communities such as — Maori, Mohawk or, tribes in India are not exceptions.

Under the umbrella of Dhumkudia-2018, the sub-themes for the discussion and debate are-

(1) Culture and Tradition

  • Compatibility of our traditional way of life with our modern lifestyles.
  • The practice of customs and traditions in present times.
  • Challenges for Language, Literature, Art, Music and Customs.
  • Culture Tradition and Reformation.

(2) Constitutional Rights and Autonomy

  • Constitutions and Human Rights.
  • Democracy and law among tribes.
  • Customary Law and Constitutions.

(3) Adivasi Society in the Age of Globalization

  • Tribes in a Globalizing World.
  • Need of the Institutions among Tribe.
  • Adivasi Society and Social evils such as – witchcraft, dowry, crime and corruption.
  • Democracy and Unity among Tribes in globalizing world.
  • Sense of Collectivism and Socialistic Pattern of Society.

(4) Education and Health

  • Education and Health among Tribes.
  • Traditional Education Institutes vs. Modern Educational Institutions.
  • Education and Socio-economic Status of Tribes.
  • Role of Tribal Intellectual in the Society
  • Education and Development.

(5) Tribes as History Makers

  • Megaliths among Tribes.
  • Importance of Writing History.
  • Importance of making history.

 (6) Gender Equality

  • Gender Equality and Tribes.
  • Gender and Crime among Tribes.

(7) Food and Livelihood

  • Traditional Food vs. Fast Food
  • Forest Product, Market and Management

 (8) Education and Economic Development

  • Sustainable Development and Tribes.
  • Capital among Tribes.

(9) Literature

  • Adivasi Literature and its history.
  • Literature and Music and Song.

(10) Tribes in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

  • Tribes and Technology.
  • Sustainable Technology and Tribes.

(11) Tribes and Environment.

  • Nature as Livelihood for Tribes.
  • Natural Resources and tribes.

 (12) Agriculture and Industry among Tribes

  • Agriculture as Industry.
  • Traditional Agriculture livelihood.

(13) Water and Forest Resources

  • Management of Forest Resources
  • Water Crisis water resources

(14)Tribal Medicine and Healing Mechanism

  • Traditional Tribal Medicine.
  • Traditional vs. Modern Healing Mechanism

 (15) Folklore and Folktales

  • Traditional vs. Moderns Storytelling
  • Fiction vs. Non-fiction.


In today’s context, Dhumkidiya is the center of the pages of tribal life and the center of the tribal philosophy too.


Thanks and Regards,

Team Dhumkudia

Dhumkudiya-2018 will be organized on 25th December, 2018 at Sangam Garden, Ranchi Jharkhand.”


Editorial Team of Adivasi Resurgence.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *