Indian Tribal Religion

Sat, 12/07/2013 - 09:25 -- Umar Farooq

Indian Tribal Religion

Indian tribal religion is the most primitive type of religion found in human society. The important characteristics of an Indian tribal religion are discussed as following.


Mana is a force different from physical force which acts in all kinds of good and bad and control the disturbance. Mana is a supernatural power which is used to control many natural phenomena is man life. According to Maxmullar, Mana is an attempt to define some natural phenomena is term of some impersonal power. In tribal religion Mana is the force applied to natural and impersonal things like mountains, rivers, thunders etc. According to Majumdar, Mana is a belief on an understandable, impersonal and material thing having some super natural power and to which people bows for control and peace.


Bonga is a type of Mana. Ho and Monda tribes use this word and says that it is a mysterious and impersonal power at the back of some natural calamity. These calamities are flood epidemics, heavy rains, storms etc. everyone tries to be safe from these activities and they perform bonga.


Animisim is the belief that material things have life. In Indian tribal religion animism is the important characteristic of people. The tribal people have beliefs in supernatural power at the back of heavy rains, big trees, mountains and other flood and storms. They want to please these power, and they perform different type of worships. The most important type of animism is the ancestral worship which is found is Sanathals and Oraons. These tribes worship various deities specified for different jobs. One God is responsible for crop, other for animals and a deity presiding raina. That is common in korawa tribe. To please these gods and goddesses they give the sacrifices of uarious animals. The principles of animism is based on two beliefs.

  1. There are some powerful souls besides gods and man is connected to these souls. They feel pleasure and pain through these souls.
  2. The soul of a man survives even after the death. The idea of animism was firstly given by Taylor using the term is anthropology. According to Taylor. “Animism is the belief on some natural material objects having souls from very ancient time to that civilized man”.


Animatism is the most wide spread idea is tribal people as compare to animism. According to animatism there is some impersonal power behind every material thing besides living things. In Indian tribal religion materials like bones, stones and feathers are worshiped to bring peace and prosperity. For example is Bihar tribe stones and feathers are considered to have magical power. The stones are considered as the children of earth mother. So, animatism is the faith is material things have living soul.


Naturalism is the faith on worship of nature. The Gar tribe of Assam worship sun and moon while the Monda people practice worship to sun god. Besides it many other tribes worship rivers, mountains, trees, stars and other natural objects.

Immortality of Soul

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