Presentation on theme: "Bangladesh is an abode of scores of ethnic minorities from time immemorial. Historical evidence as well as anthropological writings on this subject suggests."— Presentation transcript:
Bangladesh is an abode of scores of ethnic minorities from time immemorial. Historical evidence as well as anthropological writings on this subject suggests that adivasis of north-west Bangladesh came to settle in this region during the colonial era in the look out of a better and more secured life. They came from different parts of Indian sub continent; most prominently recalled names are Bhagalpur, Dumka, Chotonagpur, Rajmahal, Ghatshila, Birbhum Ranchi etc. Initially they got hold of land from the local landlords with this condition that they would clear the jungle for very low rents.
Introductory Remarks Bangladesh's tribal population consists of about 1 million people, just under 1 percent of the total population. They live primarily in the Chittagong Hills and in the regions of Mymensingh, Sylhet, and Rajshahi. The majority of the tribal population (778,425) live in rural settings, where many practice shifting cultivation. Most tribal people are of SinoTibetan descent and has distinctive Mongoloid features. They differ in their social organization, marriage customs, birth and death rites, food, and other social customs from the people of the rest of the country. They speak Tibeto-Burman languages. In the mid-1980s, the percentage distribution of tribal population by religion was Hindu 24, Buddhist 44, Christian 13, and others 19.
Introductory Remarks The four largest tribes are the Chakmas, Marmas (or Maghs), Tipperas (or Tipras), and Mros (or Moorangs). The tribes tend to intermingle and could be distinguished from one another more by differences in their dialect, dress, and customs than by tribal cohesion. Only the Chakmas and Marmas display formal tribal organization, although all groups contain distinct clans. By far the largest tribe, the Chakmas are of mixed origin but reflect more Bengali influence than any other tribe. Unlike the other tribes, the Chakmas and Marmas generally live in the highland valleys. Most Chakmas are Buddhists, but some practiced Hinduism or animism.
Bangladesh Adivasi Forum, a national Adivasi organization mentioned of 45 ethnic minorities living side by side with the Bangalee majority people in Bangladesh. It also demanded that the number of ethnic population is approximately 2.5 millions. The Bangladesh use the term “tribal” instead of adivasi in official documents and the Census of 1991 mentioned of their number 1,205,878 [the statistic Pocket Book-Bangladesh 2001-P 1441] Adivasi Forum however contest this figure.
Adivasis of Bangladesh live scattered all through Bangladesh. Of the total adivasis population 2.5 million, approximately 1.8 millions are living in plain lands. The Adivasis living in the Rajshahi Division is in the following northern district: Rajshahi, Chapai Nawabganj, Natore, Naogaon, Pabna, Sirajganj, Bogra, Jaypurhat, Rangpur, Gaibandha, Nilphamari, Dinajpur, Thakurgaon, Panchagarh, Kurigram and Lalmonirhat. They are divided into different ethnic communities and are different from one another in regards to language, culture, clan or tribe. Among them a major classes Adivasis are : Santals, Oraons, Mundas, Malpaharia, Mahattows, Mahalis, Singh, Boshak, Kormoker, Bhuimali, Rai, Bagdi, Coch, Rajbongshi, Malos, Turis, Mushor, Munija, Ghashis, etc.
The Garo and Khasi indigenous communities live in the north and northeastern part of Bangladesh close to the Indian border. The majority of the Garos and Khasis live in Meghalaya, India. Some of them live in Tripura, Koch Bihar, Assam and Mizoram. Their total population in Bangladesh is about 120,000. The Garos and Khasis belong to a matrilineal society and most of them have become Christians through the years.
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