CBSE Class 8 Social Science History Revision Notes Chapter 4

Class 8 Social Science History Chapter 4 Revision Notes 

CBSE Class 8 History Chapter 4 Notes – Tribals, Dikus and the Vision of a Golden Age 

Class 8 History Chapter 4 Notes are curated by subject matter experts to help students develop a detailed understanding of the chapter. It covers tribals, Dikus and the vision of a Golden Age in detail. Early on, the ceremonies and customs practised by the various tribes varied greatly. These ceremonies were distinct from those that the Brahmans had propagated. These communities were not characterised by caste-based society and their divisions, therefore that was a plus. These notes also discuss how people who belonged to the same tribe would have some relationships in common that indicated kinship. Within the tribes, there were also some forms of economic and social divisions.

Tribals, Dikus and the Vision of a Golden Age Class 8 Notes History Chapter 4

Access CBSE Class 8 Social Science History Chapter 4 – Tribals, Dikus and the Vision of a Golden Age Notes 

The Lifestyles of Different Tribal Groups in India 

Tribal people in many regions of India engaged in a variety of occupations during the 19th century, including settled cultivation, herding livestock, and Jhum cultivation.

Small, mostly in the woodlands, itinerant pieces of land were used for cultivation.

To allow sunlight to reach the earth and to prepare the soil for cultivation, Jhum cultivation farmers cut off the tree tops.

To fertilise the ground, they sprinkled the potash containing fire ashes.

They went to another field once the harvest had been readied and harvested. A field once cultivated, was left fallow for several years.

Nomadic farmers have been found in the forests and hilly regions of Northeastern and Central India.

For these tribal people to survive, they needed to be able to forage freely in the forests and use the land to develop their crops.

Tribal communities in several areas of the nation subsisted on animal hunting and foraging.

For them, forests were essential to their survival. Such a group resided in the forests of Orissa, and they were known as the Khonds. They frequently went hunting together and divided the meat among themselves.

They sold forest items in nearby markets and used a variety of shrubs and wild herbs for medical purposes.

When they required supplies of Kusum and Palash flowers to colour their clothing and leather, local weavers and leather craftsmen turned to the Khonds.

To obtain goods that were not produced in the community, the tribals frequently had to buy and sell.

The Van Gujjars of the Punjab Hills and the Labadis of Andhra Pradesh were livestock farmers, the Gaddis of Kulu were shepherds and the Bakarwals of Kashmir were goat breeders.

Tribal members were able to meet their cash flow demands through loans provided by moneylenders, adding to their gains. However, the rate of interest on the loans was usually quite high.

Many tribal communities were engaged in animal farming. Depending on the season, they were pastoralists who travelled with herds of sheep or cattle.

They changed locations when the area ran out of grass.

Many tribal people had started to settle down and cultivate their lands in one location year after year rather than shifting locations even before the 19th century.

They started utilising the plough and gradually gained ownership of the land they lived on. Many times, the land belonged to the entire clan, as was the case with the Mundas of Chota Nagpur.

The established tribal groups of Gonds and Santhals are considered by the British authorities as more civilised than hunters or nomadic farmers.

It is common for some clan members to become more powerful than others, for some to assume leadership positions, and for others to adopt the role of followers. Strong men with power frequently rented their land rather than cultivating it themselves.

Effects on the Tribal Lives Due to British Colonial 

British domination altered tribal group life. Class 8 History Chapter 4 Notes describe this in detail.

The tribal leaders were significant figures in many places before the British arrived. They had the authority to govern and have control over their territory because they were economically strong. They established local land and forest management laws in some places and had their own police forces.

They had the additional responsibility of upholding British honour and enforcing British discipline on tribal organisations. They had lost the influence they formerly had among their people and were unable to perform their customary duties.

The British were disturbed by these groups wandering the area without a fixed house. They wanted the indigenous people to settle and take up farming.

The British extended their rule over the entire forest, designating it as state property. Certain forests were restricted because they provided the British with the wood they needed. People were not allowed to roam around freely, cultivate crops, harvest fruit, or engage in animal hunting in such forests.

The Issue of the Traders and Moneylenders

During the 19th century, tribes discovered that traders and moneylenders visited forests more frequently, wishing to buy forest products, providing financial loans, and requesting that they work for pay.

It took a while for tribal groups to fully comprehend the implications of everything that was happening.

The silk traders dispatched their agents to lend to the tribes and collect the cocoons.

As silk producers could hardly make any money, they considered the merchants and the markets their enemies.

The Search for Work

Tribal members who were forced to leave their homes in search of work suffered worse outcomes.

Tea plantations were started around the end of the 19th century, and mining grew to be a significant sector of the economy.

Numerous tribes were hired to work in Jharkhand’s coal mines and Assam’s tea plantations. Entrepreneurs who hired them paid them very low wages and restricted them from going home.

Understanding the Lifestyle of Tribal Groups

To understand more about ‘Dikus’, one must learn about the lifestyle of the tribal groups, which is discussed below.

Who Were the Jhum Cultivators?

Jhum cultivation is a common practice among indigenous people. It is the term given for shifting cultivation. This kind of farming is done on tiny plots of land. To ensure that sunlight reaches the ground and that the vegetation can be removed for cultivation in the best way, the planters would cut down a few treetops. When the crops were ready to be harvested, they were transferred to another field. The majority of these farmers moved to the hilly, forested regions of Central and Northeastern India.

Hunters and Gatherers: Who Were They?

Some tribal groups relied mostly on hunting various animals and harvesting vegetables from the forest for survival. A community called the Khonds would hunt meat in large groups and then divide it among themselves in order to survive. The Khonds consumed both the roots and the fruits and extracted oil from the seeds. The plants and herbs were also utilised for a variety of medicinal purposes.

Herding Animals and Settled Cultivation

Some members of the various tribes made rearing and herding their main occupation. They were pastoralists and followed their animals wherever they went. Aside from that, certain tribal groups started settling down processes before the 19th century. They were called Mundas and lived at Chota Nagpur. These members were acknowledged to be the ancestors of the original settlers.

The Impact of Forest Laws During the British Rule 

The new forest rules developed during British control had a profound impact on the life of the tribal people. These laws prevented the tribal people from entering the forest. However, the British also had a significant issue locating labourers. The colonial rulers offered specific responses in that situation. They resolved that in exchange for their assistance to the Labour Department, the Jhum Cultivators would receive some small patches of land in these forests for farming. The tribal groups disobeyed those rules. As a result, the protests spread like wildfire in all of the states and caused many problems during British rule.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Discuss the effect of colonial rule on tribal lives.

The onset of British Rule significantly altered the lives of these tribe members. The British extended their rule over the entire forest, designating it as state property. Certain forests were categorised as restricted forests because they produced wood that the British wanted. People were not allowed to roam around freely, cultivate crops, harvest fruit, or engage in animal hunting in such forests.

2. Discuss the effect of British rule on Jhum cultivators.

One of the significant objectives of British control was to make specific tribal groups settle down in the best possible way. This made it possible for the British to rule and manage these people. Therefore, the British established various land settlements to guarantee that these cultivators would receive sufficient financial resources in the finest manner. However, this endeavour did not turn out to be very successful as there were many protests.

3. Define hunters and gatherers.

Tribal people were called hunters and gatherers. They relied mostly on hunting various animals and then harvesting vegetables from the forest for survival. A community called the Khonds would hunt meat in large groups and then divide it among themselves to survive. The seeds were used by the Khonds to extract oil, and they consumed both the roots and the fruits. The plants and herbs were also utilised for a variety of medicinal purposes.

4. What happened to the tribal chiefs during British rule?

According to Class 8 History Chapter 4, before the arrival of the British, the role of tribal chiefs was extremely important. They had the right to control and manage the territories which were under them and had immense economic power. However, due to British Rule, the power, as well as their functions changed and they lost their administrative power and had to follow the new laws made under British rule.