Tribal tourism is an interesting trip to a rather primitive world where you are exposed to a culture quite different from your own. It is far less modern gadget based, but more dependent on the nature and the surrounding environment in the rawest form. Here you get to know whether it fits your mindset and how to plan for it factoring in necessary precautionary measures.
Tribal tourism is no longer an anthropologist’s area of interest. The appeal of this form of tourism is on the rise and infectious. It is fast drawing the attention of common tourists. Tribal tourism can be an eye-opener, an experience of extreme delight and it could be educative. What the tourist basically doing is exploring a civilization that may appear remote and outlandish, weird and outdated.
In this tribal tourism guide, you will read about the following:
A Complete Guide to Tribal Tourism by Dr Prem- Essential components, activities, destinations, planning tips, and many more
Having the right mindset for tribal tourism
Here, you need to put yourself in the right frame of mind. If the tribal customs do not appeal you and you are only interested in the jungle beauties half clad in revealing apparel well stay at home. Tribal tourism is not your cup of tea.
You need to look beyond your limited views that are guided by a restrictive inomntellect. Once you try and succeed in understanding the philosophy that runs this apparently prehistoric society, interest will creep in. You will realize there is much more to explore in a tribal civilization than just folk dances and rituals.
Pockets of tribal settlements are scattered across the globe. These primitive societies with their apparently inexplicable cults and beliefs and their typical ways of life are not much exposed to the civilized world. On the other way round, a few initiated city-breds are acquainted with the existence of myriad tribes confined within their private world where a modernized living is simply unthinkable.
Mother Nature and her forces play a crucial role in guiding them through their day to day struggle for existence. Witch doctors and Shamans design and govern their obscure belief systems and offer explanations when deviations surface and misfortune strikes an otherwise straight and simple mode of survival although barbed with natural hardships.
Destinations for tribal tourism
Tourists with a curiosity travel to tribal areas to get an insight into their world, which is usually nestled amid unspoiled and quaint surroundings. The environment is ruled by a startling mix of flora and fauna. The enthusiasts with a thirst to explore the tribal life are found thrilled at their rituals and conventions that may look bizarre and mostly untouched and unpolluted by the venom spewed by civilization.
Tribal populations are concentrated in awesome destinations like Papua New Guinea, the continents of Africa and South America, the Incredible India, the group of Polynesian and Pacific Islands, certain parts of East Indies like the wild and wonderful Borneo and perhaps many more exotic locales far away from civilization yet to figure in our familiar and conventional world atlas.
Prime tourism attractions
Tourists to tribal destinations get enchanted by the beauty of art pieces and crafts fashioned out locally by tribal artists. The imagination and subtle touch that go into these local merchandises are worth a sight and certainly are worth a buy. Their sense of finesse is awe-inspiring. A number of decorative pieces are crafted by wood products and stone, shells and animal bones.
A range of products from smoking pipes, hats, headgears, bird traps simply fascinate the tourists. Finely woven handlooms and woolens are examples of brilliant tribal artistry. Wonderful crafts are designed and the dexterity is remarkable and noticed among several tribes inhabiting different corners of the globe.
The Nagas and other North East Indian tribes, the tribal population of Odisha, Gujarat, Chattisgarh and Rajasthan in India would simply stun you with their craftsmanship. The Australian aboriginals and the New Zealand Maoris are not far behind in the field of art and crafts as are the African and South American tribes.
The talent is inherent in the bloodline and perfected to precision over years of practice. Exploration, comprehension, and appreciation of tribal art form a very significant component of tribal tourism. It is both educative and fascinating!
Boomerang, the Aussie aboriginal hunting weapon is an enigmatic piece of wonder. It grips the tourist attention in a jiffy. Apart from its ability to back track along its own path to the chucker, it is an arresting piece of artifact. That kangaroos could be hurled at and hunted by a boomerang may have been a myth, but its sharp edges must have been used for skinning a fallen prey.
Exquisite pieces of hair combs are crafted out of razor sharp piranha teeth by Indian tribes settled in the depths of Amazon. All these tribes discussed are fierce warriors who witnessed and participated in several intertribal wars culminating in gore and blood bath.
Some of them were headhunters and may have been cannibal as well long time back. It is intriguing to note how the same fingers that were trained on slaughter and tricks of clan warfare could carve out relics of delicate beauty collecting appreciation from tourists on a visit.
It is normally observed that the positional advantage of tribal villages offers you an opportunity to combine wild life tourism and tribal tourism. The proximity of tribal settlements to the forested area makes it possible to watch both wildlife and tribal folks all in action.
Left to their own elements and to their typical habitat they are a treat for sure. Tribal tourism has a future ahead, and it helps contribute financial input to the tourism industry and eventually to the tribal welfare fund.
This tourism helps remove the invisible obstacles between the tribal and civilized world. The obstacles created by cultural and social disparity has created a rift between the jungle people and people who live in the urban concrete jungle. Frequent contacts with the tourists and of course the outside world have made the tribes realize that times have changed.
Their belief system and the rituals organized by the Shamans hardly work these days to conjure up a spell of rain followed by a good harvest. Contact with the modern world bridged by tourism has made them realize health, education and a decent occupation which are more important.
Ethical aspect of tribal tourism:
Exploring a tribal community in an exotic location can be exciting but to what extent it is ethical? Many tragic encounters between tourists and tribes have been reported raising the obvious question. Ancient cultures, age old traditions and unique lifestyle of tribal groups are fascinating for travelers.
It is a natural to think interactions between tribes and modern community may have a two-way beneficial impact where both communities can pick up few lessons to improve their society. But there are certain inherent risks which often get overlooked.
Tourism activities may expose the tribes to harmful pathogens for which they do not have any immunity. This may potentially endanger the entire tribal community. Poorly implemented initiatives may cause a cultural setback for the tribes where they may have to shift from a state of independence to a state of dependence. Traditional customs become nothing more than a way of entertainment.
This has been observed with indigenous tribes coming in contact with tourism and the effects surely haven’t been entirely positive for them. It should be up to the tribes to decide whether they would invite interaction with outsiders or not.
Essential Components of Tribal Tourism
The success of tribal tourism would result from compatible interaction of entities like the tourists, intermediaries, travel agents, local ecology and environment, the government and the ministry of tourism, hotels, shopping facilities, eateries, infrastructure and finally, the tribes themselves.These are the essential components upon which the foundation of tribal tourism is laid.Here, attitude is a very important factor. The attitude factor encompasses all the stakeholders.
The tourists and the government, the intermediaries and travel agents, the infrastructure and the local business, and the ethnic tribes who are the cynosure of tribal tourism are the basic building blocks upon which the concept of tribal tourism is built. These components have common interfaces across which the flow of interests travels either binding the concept of tribal tourism into a stronger constructive entity or threatening its survival.
Either way it works its way up. But, the idea is to focus on those aspects of the essential components that would lend a positive support to tribal tourism. The most important component is, of course, the countless number of tribes that inhabit forests and tall grasslands, river banks and highlands. They have initially started to make out a living as hunter-gatherers.
The going was tough. Many succumbed to diseases and wild animal attacks. A few perished in natural disasters like volcanic eruption and tremors. Still others were exterminated in clan wars and many were subjugated under the enemy troops to serve as bonded labor for the rest of their lives. Currently, many tribes have evolved from the past. Besides hunting, agriculture and animal herding seemed lucrative vocations.
Interest shown by tourists in their culture and craft has inspired tribes to showcase their artistic side. They have realized the money inflow from tourism as well. With the barter economy taking a backseat, this money helped them to buy meat and grain, cattle and clothing and other essential commodities. Their attitude towards tourists has turned softer over the years from one of hostility and mistrust that strained the relationship in the past.
Hunger and poverty are intense drivers. Tourist visits could mitigate the twin evils and a realization of this fundamental truth has gone a long way in changing the entire perspective through which tribes generally viewed tourists. This essential component is the prime reason for tourist draw. More the departure of tribal culture from our own culture and the variation in customs and rituals, greater would be the appeal.
The travel agent, which is possibly the second most essential component, is practically your friend, philosopher and guide in a tribal country. Greater the efficiency with which the agent’s services are delivered more is your satisfaction as a tourist.The travel agents need to deploy quality staffs having a wide range of experience in tribal tourism. An effective marketing strategy would help draw tourists, and for this support of good credentials in the field is a must. The network and logistics base are important factors for smooth running of the business in the realm of tribal tourism.
Travel agents specializing in tribal tourism need to acquire an insight into tribal society. It is the agent who guides the client through an interesting sojourn. The quality of service delivered is the most important criterion for winning the confidence of the client. A good agent would even guide the client in going through a satisfying tribal tour within the limits of an affordable budget.
The government and the ministry of tourism are other important components. Their continuous support and close monitor would shape the future of tribal tourism.Local business, existence of decent accommodations, the infrastructural setup and the local transportation network and airport would play a crucial role in serving the enthusiastic tourists.
Local business has a functional role in forming an intermediary for trading tribal products. In this respect, the local traders need to be honest. The primary producers should get a fair price for their hard work. The benefits accruing from tribal artwork should reach the tribes without the intermediary making too much profit. The transaction and interaction between the local trade units and tourists should be crystal clear and fair. Either of the parties should not attempt to deceive each other, and there lies the secret of success of tribal tourism.
Why Tribal Tourism matters?
The section of a human population included within the definition of ‘tribes‘ is quite a large number whose existence can neither be ignored nor be treated with blank stoicism.We do have a responsibility towards our tribal brothers limping way back behind us in terms of quality of civilization, enlightenment and other conventional parameters measuring how far we have progressed since the fist aura of civilization dawned upon us.It is the perspective of how we see a tribal society in action is what really matters.
That they have yet to make a lot of advancement in education, healthcare and sanitation is an undeniable naked truth. On the same discussion premises, it is also a fact that their social system is far less complicated than ours. The elements of deceit, hypocrisy and pretense are usually absent. Their habitat is far less polluted and social norms and disciplines are generally not violated. Fear of a father figure represented by the clan chief exists.
The exotic tribal population spread across the world presents exotic cultural diversity. Decked with color and mirth, the tribal festivals run a brilliant riot of color leaving those witnessing it stunned with delight. And to taste the excellence of sublime traditional customs and tribal festivals, tribal tourism seems to be the only getaway. Tribal tourism has a ton of soothing effects upon one’s mind.
Nestled in the foothills or in the middle of wilderness with tranquil greenery all around and located far away from the harsh grating of a noisy civilization tribal tourism destinations open up idyllic locales and a portal to a refreshing draft of air that cleanses your physical and spiritual elements. It works wonder on your well-being and you feel uncoiled and stress-free.If you observe a tribal society from a close range, it will simply fascinate you. It is an incredible storehouse of traditional culture and exotic heritage.
The wealth of art and crafts nurtured in a relatively primitive society is awe-inspiring. The tourists would certainly realize there is a great potential embedded that could be tapped and showcased before the civilized world to reap immense benefits. Benefits that can be drawn from the right sources at the right point in time and could be put to use to help the tribes themselves.
We need to make frequent expedition to the tribal world and study it in detail and depth. We need to comprehend and appreciate the wonderful mechanism by which a tribal society is run and tribal tourism makes it possible.For an allround development of the tribes, tourism needs to be done at more frequent intervals at tribal belts without leaving any negative footprints.
Tribal tourism is a conduit that bridges the chasm between the civilized world represented by the tourists and the tribal world populated by the tribes themselves. The cultural flow along this bridge is a much-desired inter-civilization swap and an eye opener as well that helps both the tribesmen and tourists in knowing each other. Surely tribal tourism makes them all happen and helps break the pre-conceived notion that tribes are primarily Stone Agesavages hostile to the civilized world of tourists. Tribal tourism helps break this facade taking a peep at the beauty lying on the other side.
Tribal tourism fortifies the economy of the financially backward class in which the tribal population occupies a major share. It generates employment in the region. Professional vacancies for efficient tribal tour guides come up only to be filled in by suitable incumbents who with a proper training and right exposure could make out a living for themselves. In fact, these are the field workers and important nuts and bolts in the complex machinery of tribal tourism that could make the tour experience more and more attractive by their dedicated and focused service.
More prospective tourists will be drawn to the sites and more money would pour in as a natural consequence. This money could be utilized for the upgradation of infrastructure, building better accommodations, development of local business and the tribal community. Tribal education and health issues can get a shot in the arm with the cash flowing in from the visiting tourists. This multidirectional progress would have a counter effect on the tourists leaving him happily smiling with the tribal tourism accomplished.
Lack of proper education and awareness for health and sanitation brings in a multitude of problems to the tribal population. Inability to combat with these problems leads to grave consequences often and extinction of a tribe as a whole is one and the worst of its kind! Assault of diseases due to lack of medical facilities coupled with malnutrition is one big culprit.
Tribal tourism opens up the barricade shielding a good and honest community plagued with superstition, lack of updation and exposure to the immense medical and other benefits brought about by progresses made in the field of science and technologies; benefits which are unfairly enjoyed by the civilized world.
Tribal tourism echoes the wails of deprivation of the tribal community and sends them to the civilized world to be heard, to think over with compassion and sincerity and to provide a solution.
Apart from their traditional profession, focusing on hunting, weaving, craftsmanship and crude agricultural practices the tribes can be trained into new vocations like setting up primary school where local teachers would be required. The initiative may well come from the tourists who may constitute a guild and take the collective responsibility of imparting basic education to the tribes.
Tribal tourism plays a significant role in forging integrity. However, the cultural divide that separates the tribal world from the civilized should exist to retain the unique identity of the tribes. But when it comes to sharing the fruits of scientific and economic research and development, the tribal people should not be devoid of their fair share.
Unless you know exactly in what aspects of life they are being cheated due to their ignorance and how would they respond to a scheme or aid proffered to them by the civilized world, you cannot possibly work out a tribal development program. And the answer to your queries won’t come unless you visit their realm and meet them personally, which is in fact, another name for tribal tourism that really matters.
Tribal tourism is an eye opener. You feel speechless to find there are weird customs alive and in practice which you thought were dead. In certain parts of Africa, a fistful of leeches is still employed in a ritual cure for infected blood. The blood suckers are believed to drain out the infected blood inviting the malevolent spirit into them from the body of the diseased.
In tribal parts of India, witchhunting is far from dead. Elderly poor souls caught and accused of spreading malady and child kidnapping are tied to stake and set aflame. How would you treat cases like this? It is grossly unfair to shut our eyes to these kinds of issues when we share the existence in a common planet. More and more of such cases would come up only if we take a little pain to explore the inside story of tribal culture. Tribal tourism would, hopefully, show us the way and provide a solution.
Is Tribal Tourism For You?
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Tribal tourism has a wealth of marvels that could fascinate anyone. Since the early humans migrated across the world, massive evolution has taken over the human civilization. Huge strides in modernization have been stunning, and still there is a large section who prefer to dwell in caves amid untamed greenery and amid barren plains so far away from the concrete jungle.
Civilization in its latest form has no meaning in their lives. In fact, most of them are totally unaware of a contemporary world ruled by fast electronic media and space age modernity. Nevertheless, they seem to be happy in a finely woven social structure. Their cults, philosophies, beliefs and rituals decided by Shamans and witch doctors and enforced by the tribal traditions.
You would be fascinated to learn that there are several hundreds of tribes existing in remote and fascinating panoramic pockets. Basically, these are people living otherwise straight, plain and simple lives. When they confront deviations, high priests are called in for offering explanations. Normally, a series of rituals and animal sacrifices follow to drive away a malady or a spell of curse thrown by some demonic entity. The celebrations and rituals are worth watching and expose you to a culture with which you were not acquainted.
Folk music and group dances usually organized under the open sky are trademark tribal expression of euphoria. This is normally followed by community dinners and rounded up with locally brewed booze consumption. The atmosphere turns intensely charged with an ecstatic tone and wild intoxication. Nonetheless, it has a potent appeal, and you are most assuredly going to enjoy the pulse!
Book a flight to Papua New Guinea in the South Pacific or to the Democratic Republic of Congo and witness a different world frozen in time and endowed with all raw beauties of nature. The Amazon Indians of Brazil and Peru, theGaros, Khasis, Lushais and Shingfos of North East India and the Dayaks of Borneo, theKachins and Karens of Myanmar and so many other tribes exist all scattered around the world to enchant you by their primitive and yet enthralling style of living.
Tribal craft and embroidery are often decorative pieces reflecting rich tradition and cultural attainments of these primitive human races. Necklace, bracelets and armlets crafted out of stones, metals, shells, ivory and shellac would take your breath away! You will be simply delighted to see the volume of fine artistry and dexterity that has been put into these indigenous crafts. They are well worth a buy and could always adorn your sitting room.
Smoking pipes, headgears and hats, earrings, bird-traps and fishing lines are crafted out of local raw materials for example bamboo shrubs, which grow in abundance in locality. The quality of art is commendable, and with a little honest marketing effort this merchandise would fetch good price in the international market.
You can well be a buyer and help the tribal economy get a boost. You would realize that tribal tourism is cut out for you to give you gratification in one hand and draw your attention and contribute towards the tribal upliftment on the other.
Tribal tourism contributes a sizeable amount for revamping the infrastructure for the benefit of the local population. It is a grim fact that regions inhabited by tribes are fertile grounds for breeding of a host of diseases. Lack of sense of hygiene and modern medical treatments has aggravated the situation.
Your visit to these areas could help them with financial assistance. Medical treatment centers, which could not be set up due to lack of funds, can be organized from money coming from the visiting tourists.
This form of tourism would offer you bucketful of adventurous thrill. All you need is to win their confidence and be acceptable to their society for which you need honest friendly gestures from your side. You can participate and witness their hunting ventures. Be a part of their team and just watch how they mimic animal calls and bait them in within an easy shooting proximity.
The experience is stunning. The intricacies knit in the animal traps indicate brilliance and engineering skills. Just watch with all your attention focused, and you will realize the worth of every dime spent on tribal tourism is paid back!
Spending your entire vacation in a tribal settlement is both an educative and entertaining experience. Realize with delight how close they are to Mother Nature whose beauty you appreciate so much. The unspoiled environment where they dwell is healthy with an envelope of clean fresh air to breath.
The men of the forest have a secret ear into nature. They know the medicinal worth of different herbs and plant extracts that you do not know. Close company of tribal people may acquaint you with these magic potions. You may consider yourself lucky that you decided to go on tribal tour.
Tribal tourism has a unique charm of its own. You are introduced to a totally different world. Here, people do not stay in isolated islands of ego and vanity. Social interaction is very much active and alive. Pseudo culture and fake pretensions are absent. The feelings for love and hatred are very strong and expressed without hesitation.
Among tribes, you actually feel you are watching a human race in its true elements and not laced with impurity. What you have seen among city dwellers is only a sham refined by the pretense of civilization and deceit. The real feeling of enmity is always covered with a deceptive smile.
This realization is a great achievement. It was possible just because you have taken a wise decision to visit the tribal areas. You are very near to nature and the basic elements with which we all are made up of. Tribal tourism is a sojourn into time frozen in primitive culture but nevertheless it is free from spoils and the rubbish heap, a byproduct of modernization.
Exposure to a new horizon of knowledge
Tribal tourism exposes you to a vast field of education, a field so vast and live and constantly reacting to the environment that you would simply love to be a part of it though for a temporary phase. You love to absorb anything and everything related to the tribal life, and its raw and intoxicating flavor. So pack your luggage and move in the direction of some obscure island echoing primitive drum beats.
Preparing For Tribal Tourism: Some Things You Must Remember
Adequate preparation is necessary before starting for tribal tourism. Tribal settlements are usually located in remote corners where civilization ends and harsh nature rules. The going is often tough and requires you to be in your fittest health condition. As a precaution, prior to your journey, you ought to take medical clearance from a registered physician.
Prepare your medical kit
The tracks into tribal villages are fringed with dense bush and wild water bodies which are ideal breeding grounds for germs and microbes and other carriers of diseases. Tourists should carry sufficient stock of medicines and insect repellants to combat against such an environment. Upon the advice of the doctors, you may have to take preventive vaccines. Sometimes these medical precautions become mandatory, without which you will not be allowed entry into the country housing a specific tribe.
Get the permits/passes
For visiting a tribal village, you may need permits and clearances from the competent authority. Before moving ahead, make sure you have all those important official papers with you to have an unrestricted access into the tribal country.
Check your photography tools
For preserving your wonderful experience of a tribal country, you should keep your photography kit ready and in workable condition. Arrange a camera or an HD movie camera, which would certainly be a better device for taking moving shots of folk dances or a slice of the tribal lifestyle. Sufficient stock of batteries, chargers and spare lenses would complete your preparation so far as your photography passion is concerned.
How well are you mentally prepared?
Mental preparation is one of the most important preparatory steps. Tribal villages are unlikely to host the urban environment that you are accustomed to. Health and sanitation level may not be up to your satisfaction.
Poverty and strange rituals could be unsettling for some. In spite of all these negative features, you need to prepare your mind to see through the shroud of unsavory mist that there exists something beautiful, original and authentic about tribal heritage.
Carry your sketching kit
Prepare yourself with your sketching and painting kit if you have an artist in you. Tribal villages offer excellent subjects to be put on your canvas. So, bring along with you brush and paint sets or you will repent later for not utilizing the excellent opportunity.
Check what to eat and drink
While on tribal tourism, be careful about food and drinking water. In no circumstances should you drink water from tribal villages. There is a chance of contamination, or the water not agreeing with your body. Carry packaged drinking water with you. Same rule applies in the case of food as well. If your hotel is far away from the tribal settlement and your entire journey is tiring, there is a possibility you will feel hungry.
Carry packaged food for consumption instead of accepting whatever is dished out to you in a tribal village.If you have in mind to donate or do some charity/volunteering in the tribal village, you may carry colorful books and brightly done cards for the tribal children.
Chalk your budget
Financial preparation is an important task that has a powerful impact on your trip. It is clear you will need money every inch you move into your destination of desire. Source and application of funds earmarked for tribal tourism are the two basic issues you need to focus on.
The use of funds on the trip will be largely guided by your budget planning and guidance offered by your travel agent. Normal procedure would be to set aside a certain amount of money every month as and when your salary and other sources of earnings are credited to your bank account.
Be thorough with the location and ambience
Before you start your journey into the tribal world, get acquainted with the kind of environment you will face. Carry a map for getting a fair idea of the location you are going to visit. Prior information on tribal customs, festival season, local carnivals and fairs, climatic conditions and the best season to make a trip into the tribal destination will prepare you for the trip better.
The preparation for tribal tourism is not confined to the tourists alone. It is a combined endeavor where all the stakeholders could share the preparatory exercise. There is a lot of scope to turn a tribal destination into a tourist’s dream paradise. Private investors with big money have a positive role here.
With a little innovation and tourist-tribal welfare motive, they can prepare a tribal destination and the trips with brilliant and custom designed packages. Development of a world class infrastructure and a cozy range of accommodation would need money, which can be sourced from the private investors.
Preparations should also come from NGOs and other key social welfare players to set up educational institutes for the tribal children. They must be enlightened with the basic knowledge to deal with hardships of life effectively. Preparations must be taken also by these organizations for setting up health centers in tribal villages for taking care of diseases and/or health issues that may be plaguing their lives.
The Dos for Getting More Information on Tribal Tourism
Knowledge about tourism is not a scarce commodity. With the advent of the internet, the access to information has turned easy upon hitting your computer keyboard. Different websites are practically devoted to tribal tourism. Besides there are blogs and data backed updates put on the net by learned anthropologists that shed much light on how a tribal society functions.
Texts, journals and periodicals flow with anecdotes and details with trivia, and gorgeous illustrations are displayed that takes the tourist interest by grip.You may have more details on tribal tourism from contacting the ministry of tourism of the country where you have selected your destination.
The information base besides giving you a glimpse of the culture, religion, festivals and art that is typical of a specific tribal society also warns you about actions, gestures and attitudes that are considered a taboo among the tribes. Actions that may flare up hostility from the tribes towards the visiting tourists are specifically mentioned too.
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Different sources of information on tribal tourism would update you on the right places to visit and the right season that is going to give you maximum satisfaction. You can be updated about the best accommodation at affordable prices. If you are a bit adventurous type and desire to camp in the tribal sites and the surrounding jungle, important advice is available that would see your desire fulfilled. You may even choose to lodge right in the middle of a tribal village so that you can explore their lifestyle from close proximity.
Information on tribal tourism can be retrieved from different online and offline sources with respect to the rate charts and transport facilities. Hassle free trips to and from your hotel doorsteps to the tribal core areas are much sought after information in the tourist circle. The same fact rules in case you are figuring out the easiest access from your hotel to the airport.
Despite all the possible sources of information tapped by you, there is always a chance you stumble upon an entirely new tribe not seen by human eye previously. Various anthropological societies, missionaries, and study groups explore into the depths of the Amazon, Congo and Borneo. Many startling facts and weird rituals are revealed, which are even practiced in the 21st Century. Still many areas remain untouched due to the impenetrable forest cover perhaps sheltering an entirely new tribal race not known or studied previously.
Browsing the net may get you on a little out of the way private blogs by explorers who carry out deep forest expeditions. Those crazy buffs who are rather obsessed about finding out tribes previously unexplored. Those hardcore adventurers who always and almost rely upon their instinct that someday they are going to run into a new human species far savage than any specimen previously discovered.
Their accounts are certainly hair raising, informative and may be slightly colored with exaggerated romanticism. Nevertheless, these are gripping and informative reads giving you clues to survival in a tribal country.
Seminars, camps and forums are organized at the international level by bodies and clubs registering tribal expedition aficionados and conservationists. A range of issues are put up and discussed concerning tribal population. Tribal culture, threats of globalization and irresponsible tourism leading to their possible extinction, economic development and health, education and the sustainability of their rich heritage are all discussed and solutions worked out.
The media are often called in for propagating the theme of discussion and informative snippets uploaded in you tube. These associations have created their own awareness websites dealing with various issues of tribal tourism. Queries are shot and answered and opinion blogs are posted. Just browsing these sites can keep you well informed on tribal tourism.
There is more information on the demographic distribution of tribal population across the length and breadth of the globe. It also informs tourists about the specific tribes which are facing the threat of extinction. Also the steps initiated by the government for rehabilitation of tribes on the road to population decline are covered.
The websites on tribal tourism feed you on the precautions and dos and don’ts relating to visiting a tribal destination. The right place for buying tribal crafts, existence of unscrupulous intermediaries and the likely price range are also put to public notice. Cultural websites on tribal tourism play a promotional role as well. Much of its effectiveness would however depend upon the authenticity of updates proffered. They illustrate traditional tribal religious beliefs and customs.
These bits of information serve to cut out an impressionable slot in the mind of the tourist. They help promote the cultural identity of an ethnic group. Works of legendary anthropologists and nature explorers have opened before us the door to the tribal world. Tips and precautionary measures are conveyed in these informative texts to guide the tourists against perils and hazards perhaps lurking behind a bush in a tribal country.
An important source of tourism information would be the travel agents specializing in tribal tourism. The existence and location of the agents could be obtained from internet browsing. The travel agents have websites covering wide ranging features on tribal tourism. They would convey you enough and guide you on a tribal tour. The most important information that you require is an insight into the unpredictable nature of tribal group behavior.
You really do not know how an ethnic group would react to outside tourists in a given environment.Here you will need the service of an experienced and reliable tour guide. Your travel agent is the best intermediary from whom you can collect information about such a resourceful tour guide and establish contact with him.
More the volume of data and information in your hand more successful would your tribal tourism likely to be. It is clear that information on tribal tourism can be obtained from more than one source. Reliability is an important factor.
Besides being backed up by data, maps and glossy pictures, contact details of officers of tribal tourist bureau are normally available. This is one vital piece of information where you can have a direct conversation with a knowledgeable person on different issues of tribal tourism.
Activities in Tribal Tourism
If you are on a tribal expedition, seldom will you have any time lying back on your sofa in a cozy hotel room. You will be probably happily compelled to go on a constant hunt salvaging information about tribal lifestyle; a lifestyle guided and governed by a closely knit social structure which is obscure from the civilized world.
To start with the exploration of housing and plan on dwelling architecture you can spend a couple of days studying art, design and engineering that goes into the construction philosophy. Tribal villages are a cluster of marvel, a dream put to reality. The basic raw materials come from the forests lying on the fringes.
Bamboos, long bladed grasses, and a variety of woods grow in abundance. If you watch closely, you will find the security aspect has been put on top priority list. The jungles starting at the periphery are infested with predatory wildlife. There is a threat from the rival tribes as well. A sort of high wall fencing around the village protects the inmates. Of course, there are instances of failure when the security wall collapses and a bloodbath ensues.
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Sometimes at the outpost, a cubicle sort of structure is erected on high wooden post. The tribal village guard keeps a vigil from this inspection point. In tribal villages of East Africa, an apparently impenetrable thorn fence called ‘Boma’is built to block the entry of man-eating lions. Still there are hair-raising instances of poor inmates beingdragged and bruised across the ‘Boma’ that ended up as a dinner for the beast.
You will certainly find these structures fascinating and your camera shutter clicking at a random pace. Then there are villages where a separate community living room is constructed. The idea is to house an able-bodied bachelorarmy of young men who would stand guard at the very entry point to the tribal settlement.
This architectural philosophy is prevalent among the Naga villages of North East India and among the tribes of Arunachal Pradesh located in the same region a little up north. These bachelor houses are called Morung. The more you see the more you are enthralled. Don’t be surprised to find yourself busy and active throughout the day exploring and rummaging through every corner of the labyrinth of a tribal village.
Your activities would know no limit once you embark upon a tribal country. You can spend productive time just watching the growth of tribal craft. You can actually participate in sharing a value adding experience in tribal craftsmanship.Tattoo cult is an arresting chapter in tribal art and culture.
This is widespread across the globe. Tattoos must have a powerful impact on tribal belief system.You can have your arm tattooed under a tribal needle. Just watch the patience with which the tattoo artist engraves the wonderful pattern. It is a work of art that deserves a permanent capture on your body.
Shopping exquisite tribal crafts would occupy a major part of your activities in a tribal country. There is a large inventory to choose form. Once you are honest in your approach and open in your attitude you may get an entry into their society. Before that, winning their trust is important. You can follow them into the depths of the jungle. Their hunting expeditions are a big treat for an exciting experience. You may become a part of their hunting team.
If your participation is approved, the next thing you make sure is to wear knee length tough leather boots. These arecustom designed for an expedition into the bush.Watching the entire tribal hunting troop in action is a life time experience.
If permitted by the tribal chief, not taking your camera would be a blunder. You follow the trail and watch them mimic bird calls. It is exciting to watch them as they scan bushes for birds and animals with their laser eyesight trained over years in jungle expedition.
Equally exciting would be their hunting and fishing tools! Weapons cover a wide range of tools of myriad shapes and sizes. Bows and arrows,spears,machetes and sling shots are common hunting crafts. The striking weapons are in some cases exotic. Blowpipe is one classic example. A long hollow pipe with a poison tipped dart inside is aimed and blown at the target which is usually a bird or an animal hunted for food.
The darts are usually dipped in curare, spider venom or other poisonous plant extracts. The toxin is lethal and acts fast on the blood stream. The victim collapses. Use of blowpipe is rampant in Borneo among the Amazon tribes and in Papua New Guinea.
You can try your hand on these indigenous weapons and see if you can bring down a jungle fowl for dinner. It will be a riot of wild buzz. The mere sight of a game and the outburst of excitement among tribal folk around it would shoot your adrenaline level high up.
Attending and participating in rituals, feasts and ceremonies is an interesting activity. Local liquor is brewed in community breweries. They may be prepared in every household and possibly very strong. A sip may send you to cloud nine, and the festivals aregenerally open for all to participate.
They are usually organized under a moonlit romantic sky. You ought to savor the enigmatic ambiance.The booze and food have its toll on the congregation of which you are a part as well. The euphoria reaches a heightened crescendo. Just observing tribal chores from close quarters is a fascinating study to put down on your diary.
You may try and learn a bit of their language and the script if any they have one. The script may be in hieroglyphic form. More emphasis is put on drawings than on actual letters.It must be a workable and effective media of communication. Feelings and general observations are conveyed through these apparently incomprehensive scribbles, which you might decode with a little honest effort and interest. Remember these hieroglyphs run their society and must have enough inputs to keep you occupied.
Best Practices in Tribal Tourism
Best practices that are to be implemented should have development of the tribal society and improving the quality of a tour as the two main objectives. Tribal tourism is fine, and in the process it brings inflow of money to the region. What proportion of this tourist money reaches the tribes is now a million-dollar question.
Control measures are to be exercised at the government level to see that money paid by the tourists finds its way into tribal welfare fund. Monitoring is important. Any dishonest and deceitful ploy attempted by the intermediaries should be checked and penal actions taken.
Tribal art and culture should always be encouraged from all quarters right from the tourism ministry level down to the actual consumer tourists.
This is a productive effort, which inspires the local folks to be creative, prolific and constructive. It is one of the best practices that could be thought of relating to tribal tourism. More importantly, it brings in financial strength to the tribal population.
Encouragement and development of tribal culture, language and scripts is one big stride in this direction. There should never be a forced imposition of modernization upon native tribes. This is a negative step that would harm the tribal sentiment and eventually will destroy the ethnic culture past.
However, consciousness in the field of health and sanitation is an imperative need. Stakeholders may always try to enlighten these people with the knowledge of elementary medicine.Diseases like malaria, sleeping sickness and bilharzias often wipe out entire tribal settlements. Means to combat these dreadful ailments must be spread among tribes else these people might become extinct before their culture, latent talents and their society can be fully explored.
On travelling to a tribal country, one should look forward to doing some community work directed at tribal welfare. Even if all the tourists visiting these primitive cultural pockets share the responsibility of imparting basic education to the tribal children, it would be a great job accomplished.
Each tourist doing his bit and devoting just a fraction of his time would be enough. Elementary knowledge of counting numbers, drawing and painting workshops and teaching basic languages would be fine. These efforts certainly would not go in vain.They will pay off shaping the future of these tribal children towards a positive direction.
Primary art of cultivating fruits and vegetables, infact, growing a full kitchen garden around the settlement to feed the community could be taught. This would be one of the best tribal tourism practices where the tourist plays the role of a teacher. Lucrative vocation of agro studies can be taught, which would keep the tribes fruitfully occupied in some constructive work.
Methods of cultivation can be revised with refined techniques replacing crude farming methods. Knowledge on organic farming and fertilizers could be imparted so that tribal food farms can turn more productive keeping the quality intact.
Pool of resources should be set up where money, government aids,fertilizers and tools and tackles for easy farming would flow in. A fair logistics should be set up to ensure these supports are finding their ways to destinations they are meant to reach. The ultimate beneficiary should be the tribes.
Keeping a vigilant eye that your adventto a tribal destination doesn’t pollute the pristine ecology would be one of the best practices of tribal tourism. You may leave your much-awaited footprints in a tribal village but not even a single heap of garbage.
Image Source : photo.drprem.com
The tribes are wealth of a nation. The indigenous culture and their strange ways of life followed even till date speaks of their rich heritage. A heritage they are extremely proud of. There is no intention from their side to swap their age-old customs with our modernity.
The intention of the tourist should not be that of a nitpicker pointing an accusing finger at the apparently obsolete belief system of the tribals and try to impose upon them urban tricks and gimmicks. Rather it would be a good tourism practice to inspire the tribes of their cultural opulence and encourage them to keep pursuing their creative talents. The primary motive should be to help sustain the tribal culture and improve their material wealth.
Planning Your Tribal Tourism Trip Right
Planning in tribal tourism is a guiding factor that would lead you through the entire itinerary of the expedition. The first step in planning is to decide what to see and where to go to find your object of desire. If you are inclined towards tribal tourism, certainly you cannot have all the tribes of the world together under a single roof.
You need to be selective and in this respect you do not need to rush to libraries and anthropological archives. The moment you get to the tribal websites upon a mouse click your subconscious starts spinning the groundwork of planning. Locations around where the tribes dwell and the distance from your residence and the right time to visit such a place start taking a finite shape.
The entire planning exercise has become information based. Greater the accuracy and reliability of the information better would be your planning. Without a sound planning your tribal tourism move would be like a ship in troubled waters without a captain to monitor. Once you have selected the tribe and booked a flight to the destination, you need to plan your itinerary.
You need to plan your activities the entire chain from inception till finish where interaction with tribes and exploring their culture would be a major part.The type and complexity of your activities amid tribal environment would become major cost drivers. They would form the foundation of your tour expense budget. This is one of the most important components of your total planning process.
You need to plan your accommodation, the grade and style you would prefer and the expenditure part that goes with it. You need to plan the duration of your stay. Each day is broken up into finite activities relating to tribal tourism. Since stay through each day is converted into your cash outlay, the stay should be justified by value addition to your level of exposure that gets enriched with each passing day as you interact with the tribes and explore their culture and philosophy.
Planning your tribal tour would include learning about the basics about a tribe before actually meeting them. This helps you in the sense you have an edge of access into their society. You know in advance their likes and dislikes and their preferences and the belief system. They are likely to open up before you as you have made them happy by your friendly gestures you cultivated beforehand from texts and the internet information storehouse.
Planning your duration of stay and breaking your entire itinerary into smaller bits of activity schedule would help improve the quality of tribal tourism. This would help you manage your travel time much better. Not a moment goes into the garbage. Every opportunity and every single minute are well utilized. Of course, if you are going with a travel agent, most probably you would, much of your planning headache would be shared or rather controlled by the agent.
In spite of it, you may still make micro plans like visiting tribal handicrafts centre and procuring the choicest artifacts of your desire. You may plan to devote an entire day on tribal museum. This would be an eye opener in a big way and may leave you with pleasant surprises at their achievement in the field of science and arts despite pulling through a remote and prehistoric society with so many hardships on the way.
This is definitely going to be an educative venture. You may plan to book a substantial amount of your time slot in visiting tribal craft workshops and watch them translate their dreams into reality with dexterity and masterstrokes coming from someone with artistic genius. You may plan to attend a tribal dance show or a religious ritual for that matter. Planning your activities within well- defined deadlines would help you make the most of your tribal tour.
An important part of planning exercise would be taking stock of luggage you are carrying. It often happens in a rush that an important item skips your mind. This may be your daily use toiletries or casual wear or even a towel. You feel the sting when you are dying for it, but it is nowhere near. You do not get a source of getting a spare, and it would be a hell of an awe full state of embarrassment.
You can most assuredly rule out a possibility of buying a new one once you land on the remotest tribal settlement. No amount of money can buy you an article that you leave back home. The simple reason maybe it is not available altogether in the destination you are travelling, but because of its distant location from the civilization. The best luggage planning tool is to make out a list of essentials, and tick them off one by one as you pack them in.
Your passport visa, bank cards, flight tickets, hotel and tour agents booking vouchers, your photography kit, packaged drinking water, medicines, visit permits and your clothing are all basic luggage. Do not pack in unusable luggage. They would confuse and add unnecessary weight.
Tribal tourism calls for travelling with an experienced travel agent. It is not a kind of expedition to be undertaken all by yourself for obvious reasons. The agent has already drawn up a universal plan for you and other members in the team. Consequently, the question of goal congruence comes up. You must be having your own plans founded on your desires and objectives.
You might need to do a little homework and ensure your own interests are not sacrificed on the altar of team target. See that they are compatible, and the entire trip is done in a satisfying way and according to the master plan. A well planned tribal tourism would be physically refreshing, mentally gratifying and awakening, would be within your financial means and time bound. It would leave you beaming!
Getting Your Finances Right and Budgeting for Tribal Tourism
Budgeting tribal tourism would be one of the most significant tour planning tools. Before you launch an expedition to the tribal country you need to have the financial estimates. Every move you make along your itinerary it involves an expense. If you do not have a rough idea beforehand, you are certainly in for trouble. If your motive is to sustain a tribal tourism destination, you need to think about the welfare of the region.
Welfare without monetary contribution would sound like an empty vessel. You can buytribal crafts and handlooms. You can attend tribal artifact museums for a fee. You can attend dance or musical programs organized by the tribes and take an entry ticket paying for an amount.
There are a number of ways in which you can contribute incurring a financial outlay. It is always prudent to be prepared for the expenses as they might strike you like a bolt from the blue if you are not prepared. An estimate is necessary, and in this regard your travel agent and tour guides can throw some light.
You are likely to buy a pair of knee length tough buffalo hide boots to avoid insect and snake bites while you track through tall grasses. Tribal countries are usually located amid wilderness so chance of the mishaps stated is not unlikely. Set aside a certain amount of fund on your outfits suited for a tribal expedition just you do in case you are on a wildlife safari.
Your expense budget should cover medical procurements should you be down with an infection contaminated through water, food, and physical contacts with the diseased folk in a tribal village. At least medicines for common ailments like fever, cough, and cold need to be bought. As tribal areas are located in remote places there is a chance of food scarcity due to logistic issue. Food might be available at an exorbitant high price.
While framing a budget, this aspect would need deliberation. You would certainly take your camera and other photography kits on tribal tourism to capture the precious moments spent among tribes. Dances, celebrations and rituals would merit camera clicks, of course, with approvals from the clan chiefs. Sophotography expenses would occupy a sizeable chunk in your tribal tourism budget.
You should consider the tour guide’s fee in your travel budget. An efficient guide would educate you on tribal culture and would have a thorough knowledge of tribal zones. They are expected to handle sensitive issues if one ensues between the tribes and tourists. A good guide would expect a rewarding fee, which needs to be taken care of in your budget. Your budget should allow for a justifiable buffer in case actual expenditure overshoots the initial estimates.
Financial estimates would include the travel agent’s fee for the range of services on offer. Flight tickets, accommodation rentals, inland logistics and food would cover almost 60 % to 70 % of your budget. Try to get the flight tickets in advance enough to avail early-bird discount. Get acquainted with the exchange rate of the country you are visiting with respect to your home currency. The currency conversion rate is to be factored in your budget.
Duration of your stay is a very important factor. Your daily accommodation rental and average food consumption bill simply get multiplied by the duration of your stay. A big chunk of financial expenditure estimates pops up before you. Longer the duration bigger is the chunk.
If you desire to explore tribal culture thoroughly and study their lifestyle, a short week long trip may not suffice. You need to enhance the span of your duration and consequently the scale of your financial estimate. The choice is yours! The check in and check out time stipulations has an important bearing on your hotel rental expenses. You need you be alert about the stipulations.
If you fail to move out by the check-out time, you may have to pay a full day’s accommodation rental unnecessarily. Selection of the hotel will have an impact on the tour budget. Good and cozy hotels will naturally be more expensive. Similarly, the location of the hotel is equally important. Proximity to airport or the tribal settlement would save you inland transportation cost.
Budgeting in advance would save you from embarrassing situations when you run out of money. This happens when you haven’t prepared yourself for the likely expenditure which comes up and loom suddenly out of nowhere like a monster grinding its teeth. You are left with no other option than to send frantic calls to your friends and relatives asking for money to make up for the shortage!
Get an insurance coverage for your trip. There is no point in saving by not opting for a secured tour insurance policy. The premium paid would be negligible compared to losses due to accidents, burglary and other mishaps which may be lot more expensive. Comprehensive budget would help you save money on your trip and will see you do not run out of money in the middle of your journey.
Travel And Tourism arrangements in Tribal Tourism
Tribal tourism has started to become an interesting niche pulling more and more tourists from different corners of the world.With the demand for tribal tourism steeply rising, travel agents armed with resources, updates and effective network have literally jumped in.The competition has been neck to neck, and so has been the number of travel agents shooting on a continuous strive to improve the quality of service to secure their market.
Travel agents have been doing a hard job constantly updating their acquaintance with the tribal world.The normal services proffered to client cover a wide range. Booking your flight to and from the tribal tourism destination is done with speed and efficiency.However, booking air tickets is optional. You can do it on your own as well. Travel agents normally see through your passport and visa formalities and are expected to handle all the connected administrative hassles.
Sometimes, travel agents extend their service to organizing a loan arrangement for your trip. Consumers often have the option to repay this loan in installments within a specified time. Other important services cover managing foreign exchange regulations, handling legal aspects pertaining to tribal tourism where the destination happens to be in a different country and last, but not the least, organizing travel insurance coverage.
The tour organizers have a network strong enough to locate the right kind of accommodation and inland transport for you matching your budget.They have taken this job of fixing your accommodation to a great level of satisfaction by practically bringing the pictorial depictions from all angles. The facilities available, and the room you can expect at your destination are generally put on a vivid display on their websites. There usually exists a section for customer reviews, complaints, and suggestions for improvement as well.
The travel organizers specializing in tribal tourism have much-developed websites with all contact details and other informative data that you know what is in offer before you have actually launched a tribal expedition.
Seldom do these promises and informative details fail especially with reputed travel agents these bits are, in fact, their pillars of strength. Those adopting deceptive means providing fake information in websites generally do not survive long where quality of service and trust built is the very backbone of business.
Once a trip starts into a tribal country, specially hired trusted and experienced guides are provided for the benefit of tourists. The trip is monitored in every phase from the base office and any difficult issue arising en-routeis handled fast with proficiency.
Small and large travel agents crowd the tribal tourism market in a frantic battle. Those with the best service and pricing structure tie-up survive this race, and the inefficient ones run the risk of being put out of business by their competition.
Perhaps the biggest challenge of a travel agent is to manage a group of tourists having a heterogeneous character. Each member having his unique likes and dislikes, whims and fancies. Handling this type of group with random erratic behavior is quite a challenge. Amid this unruly crowd profile, a travel agent has got to handle every issue and cater to every conflicting interest with clarity and sincerity with minimum confusion.
The idea is to bring about congruence among all the collective and individual interest of the business and the tourist as well. No complaint should come from any quarter; all the tourists should return home with a smiling face and the cash register of the travel agents should reflect good business. Travel agents and tour operators often tailor their service matching the needs of the client.
Good tour operators can visualize different issues and problems awaiting the customer tourist even before the start of the trip. Likewise, problems are apprehended and solutions worked out. It is a sort of a simulation model helping answer the issues as and when they pop up right in the middle of the tribal destination trip.
Establishing contact with the hotel owners and local transport organizers is an important part of travel agent’s assignment. Equally important is to establish rapport with the local authorities and anthropological units regarding countless legal bindings relating to visiting the tribes. In some cases, tour operators actually own a chain of hotels and a fleet of vehicles. Lesser the intermediary lesser is the instance of miscommunication. The tourists can directly fire complaint to travel agents for incompetence in tourist service.
One of the most important functions that a good travel agent discharges is planning your budget. Unnecessary expense outlets are located and discarded. Only the essential and unavoidable expense areas are considered in a budget and custom designed for the customer tourist. This brings about a substantial saving in trip expenses on tribal tourism. Travel agents in the sector of tribal tourism are on a constant R&D exercise to make tribal tourism a wonderful sojourn.
Things You Can Do Post Tribal Tourism
Have you ever thought of the important role you could play once your exploration of tribal country has culminated? You must think that there isn’t much left for you to do except reflecting back on happy moments. Moments when you were probably busy participating in a tribal folk dance or bargaining over the price of a piece of local handicraft.
You are very likely incorrect. You do have a constructive role to play even after your tribal tourism has been officially over.The exposure to tribal tourism has put a foundation beneath your feet rich with firsthand experience and knowledge. In fact, it is a springboard from where you can launch your next trip. You may even put an honest effort to protect the world of primitive civilization against fast urbanization resulting in the loss of habitat and living of various ethnic tribes.
Tribal tourism has opened a portal to tourists that was buried under myths and fables. Watching primitive people smoothly running a closely woven society could be an eye opener.The longstanding belief that tribes are fundamentally savages with a hostile attitude towards the civilized world is a propaganda largely blown out of proportion.
The tourist certainly has a responsibility to fight and voice protest against such false notions that alienates a tribal society. Firsth and reports from tourists portray tribes as merry manly folks who are straight forward and simple. Originally they are not mean, neither are they schemers drawing benefits through deceitful means. Whatever vices may have seeped in is due to contact with the civilized society.
Pseudo culture is unheard of in their community. They are the true sons of the soil and the feelings for love and hatred are very powerful and openly demonstrative.A tribal society and their systems offer you a vast field, a scope to study and enhance your depth of knowledge in the subject.
Armed with your camera, a voice recorder and an alert mind, you can absorb precious details and enrich your storehouse of knowledge on various tribes scattered across the remote corners of the globe.Post tribal tourism, you can ride on the media and communicate all wonderful things that you have experienced in tribal tourism. You reach over to a large section of enthusiasts who would be practically devouring your travel essay.
Next thing they would probably want to do is follow your footsteps to a tribal country.Your tribal tourism experience has made you more prepared for your subsequent ventures.You are now updated on the best services a travel agent can give you for an optimum price structure.
If you are impressed with the service, you retain the contacts and look forward to hiring the agency for your next exploration. If your satisfaction is way below the level of acceptance, you can always opt out for another agency. Your current trip has filled you with wisdom. Your mistake will probably never be repeated in the future.
From your current tour, you learn about the best hotels,food,transportation and tour guides matching your budget. Needless to state you would certainly retain all these contacts and convey them to your relatives and friends enthusiastic about doing a tribal tourism. You can also take repeat services in your future trips from those who proved themselves worthy of renewing contracts from your current trip.
For your activities post tribal tour to go global and have a positive impact, the internet is an amazing canvas.This powerful electronic media conveys in a split second all what you want to say about the tribal world. Take, for example, a show of folk dance where you were a spectator.
The hypnotic beat of tribal drums would tone up an enchanting atmosphere. The graceful dancers would perform to the beats and the entire spectacle would be a wonderful experience. Just think of the riot of fun it would stir up when put on you tube.You can, upload few clips displaying tribal life. Spice it up with blogs and texts to make it academically appealing. The media will reach your observations to the world around you.
Tribal tourism is a wonderful piece of experience. Post tourism, you have a right to support and communicate to the world the need for sustaining and upgrading the tribal culture.
Do’s and Don’ts of Tribal tourism
Tribal tourism is a wonderful mix of adventure, thrill and education. There is a possibility you meet people with a culture that might appear weird. Lifestyles may appear too difficult and full of hardships to justify an existence in the modern world. Always bear one thing in mind you should not view tribal systems from your perspective. Try to see it from their angle.
Many of the inexplicable issues would turn crystal clear. The most important thing is since you have been groomed through a civilized life, you might on your visit to a tribal village instinctively and inadvertently do something that might harm tribal sentiment. Your actions refined by a city bred life might stir fury among indigenous people.
There are a set of do’s and don’ts to be followed in order to avoid mistrust and enmity between the tourists and tribes. These warnings, of course, modified by situation and circumstance of the case would ensure you a gratifying tribal tourism.
The following guideline might help:
- Do not venture into restricted tribal areas.
- Always hire a trained and experienced guide while exploring tribal communities. Do not deviate from their instructions.
- When you are in a tribal village among natives surrounding, you do not start clicking your camera right away. It may be against local custom and people might take it as an offence. If you want photographs of the tribes, ask your tour guide. He may take an approval from the chief only after which you may go ahead.
- Always wear a friendly smile on your face. Scornful facial expression and showing distaste at outlandish ambiance around you might put you into jeopardy.
- Headgears, beads, outfits, weapons, body piercings and tattoos may arouse your inquisitiveness. You may appreciate them with your eyes. Do not touch them.
- Do not offer food or any kind or beverage or cigarettes to the tribes you meet. Seek permission from your guide in case you have made up your mind to hand over a piece of souvenir.
- Do not express your dissatisfaction or ridicule any tribal ritual no matter how funny might it appear.
- In case of tribal communal feasts where you are a guest, you may be in a dilemma whether to consume the food and drink offered. Best is to follow the tour guide’s advice. Let him handle the situation.
- Tribal areas might be infested with germs or the other way round you may import germ to tribal settlements as well. Take proper vaccines prior to tribal tourism.
- Be on the safe side and do not drink water from tribal villages to quench thirst. Better carry your own packaged drinking water.
- Do not be too adventurous with the tribes. Do not follow them into the forests in their forages unless you are invited.
- Do not dump trash into the tribal areas. You have no right to disrupt the local ecology. Leave your footprints only and not the garbage.
- In case you find museums showcasing tribal art and craft and souvenirs of their cultural heritage, visit one by paying the entry fee. On one hand you are enriching your stock of knowledge and on the other the entry fee paid would help boost the local economy and proper upkeep of the museum.
- You must take the same stand in case you have an opportunity to view tribal folk dances and music organized on a commercial scale. Pay the fee and attend the function. Explore the heritage and help support the tribal economy.
- When you are in the company of indigenous tribes, do not feast upon bottles of hard drinks and puffs packets of cigarettes which you may have carried with you. This may have a negative impact on the general environment both from health and moral angle.
- Tribal areas may require special tourist visit permits. Prior to your visit ensure you carry such pass.
- Many tribal zones are declared restricted. Stay away from such restricted area to avoid punishments and heavy fines.
- Do not engage in hunting wild life and birds in jungles surrounding tribal belts. It is a punishable offence.
- In many tribal pockets, the population is dwindling in size and the members are facing extinction. Refrain from any act that would speed up the process.
Tips For Precaution and Prevention when on Tribal Tourism
Your documents linked to tribal tourism are the most important evidence on the strength of which your trip will become possible. These documents need to be handled with great care. Loss of documents would invite a series of serious troubles. You may face litigation as well. Your dream for a gratifying tribal tourism might shatter midway if you fail to produce these documents to competent authorities.
Your visa, passports, tribal area entry permits, air tickets, hotel booking vouchers, bank cards and other documents need to be carried securely. You may wear an inner belt with a case for carrying these important papers. See that they remain close to you as much as possible. Take out extra photocopies of these documents and ensure that they are available at the time of need.
If you are booking your tribal tourism through a tour operator, make sure you are not taken for a ride by a fake entity. Enquire about the credentials of the operator. You can check from the internet the reliability of the organization from the quality of the website launched and the customer feedback.
Be careful about passport processing agencies as well. Many of these intermediaries thrive on deceitful ways. They may be after your money and waiting for an opportunity of beating you to the punch. They are fraudsters.
It would be wise to take vaccinations prior to visiting a tribal country. Take the opinion of a doctor who has a thorough knowledge about diseases common to tribal settlements. Malaria, sleeping sickness, yellow fever and bilharzias can be common medical threats for these regions. Necessary medicines must be carried as a precautionary measure.
There are many isolated zones inhabited by hostile local tribes that are strictly prohibitory for a tourist visit. Especially a visit to Jarawa islands in the Andamans is totally banned for tourists. The tourists should under no circumstances violate the restrictive legislation. They may be risking their life in doing so. A penal action by the local administration is certain, if not horrible death in the hands of the vicious tribes.
Never oppose the instructions of the tour guides. Being too bold and adventurous in a tribal country could be dangerous. Any warnings by your tour guide in this direction should be strictly followed. Tourists are advised against being over smart with respect to interaction with tribal women. However, tempting it might be, keep a respectable distance with tribal girls even if you find them provocatively dressed. Your advances may add fuel to the flame already in existence. It may lead to a violent eruption.
Tribes have their own set of rules that governs their social conduct. Gestures of respect and those expressing hatred and scorn are not the same. The tourists are advised to get acquainted with these customs and behavioral patterns to avoid misunderstanding with the tribes. The tour guide is the best person who could enlighten a tourist in this area. Credentials and past record of the tour guide are essential criteria on the basis of which he should be recruited.
When you are in a tribal country, never lose grip on your calm and composure. Try to be sober in your attitude and expression. You may find the tribes in an outburst of glee. Euphoria rising to a crescendo might come up in a folk-dance sequence. That doesn’t mean you should also act boisterously inspired by the charged atmosphere.
A common sight might be the tribes consuming home brewed liquor riding high on ecstasy. It should never be a source of encouragement for you to take out your own reserve and drain the bottle in an attempt to match your tribal counterpart. This would be too vulgar a display of manhood.
Display of money, jewelry and other expensive gadgets is advised against. Basically, expected to be honest by nature, the urban vices may have contaminated a tribal settlement you have planned to visit. You never know how someone would behave when exposed to the wealth you may be displaying. Criminal instincts might get him in grip. Hence the word of caution!