Notes of Ch 7 Tribes, Nomads and Settled Communities Class 7th History

Notes of Chapter 7 Tribes, Nomads and Settled Communities Class 7th History

• In large parts of the subcontinent, society was already divided according to the rules of varna. 

• These rules, as prescribed by the Brahmanas, were accepted by the rulers of large kingdoms.

Beyond Big Cities: Tribal Societies

• Tribes who lived beyond the cities did not follow the social rules and rituals prescribed by the Brahmanas.

• Many large tribes thrived in different parts of the subcontinent. 
→ They usually lived in forests, hills, deserts and places difficult to reach.

• The caste-based and tribal societies also depended on each other for their diverse needs.

Who were Tribal People?

• Tribal people were found in almost every region of the subcontinent.

• In Punjab:
→ The Khokhar tribe was very influential during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.
→ Later, the Gakkhars became more important.

• In Multan and Sind:
→ The Langahs and Arghuns dominated extensive regions.

• In the North-West:
→ The Balochis

• In the western Himalaya:
→ The Gaddis.

• In north-eastern part of the subcontinent:
→ The Nagas, Ahoms and many others.

• In many areas of present-day Bihar and Jharkhand:
→ Chero chiefdoms had emerged by the twelfth century.
→ The Mundas and Santals were other important tribes that lived in this region and also in Orissa and Bengal.

• In Maharashtra highlands, Karnataka and southern regions:
→ Kolis, Berads, Koragas, Vetars, Maravars and others.

• In Western and central India:
→ The large tribe of Bhils.

• In present-day states of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh:
→ The Gonds

How Nomads and Mobile People Lived

• Nomadic pastoralists moved over long distances with their animals.

• They lived on milk and other pastoral products.

• They also exchanged wool, ghee, etc., with settled agriculturists for grain, cloth, utensils and other products.

• The Banjaras were the most important trader-nomads.

• Many pastoral tribes reared and sold animals, such as cattle and horses, to the prosperous people.

Changing Society: New Castes and Hierarchies

• Many tribes and social groups were taken into caste-based society and given the status of jatis.
→ Specialised artisans smiths, carpenters and masons were also recognised as separate jatis by the Brahmanas.

• Among the Kshatriyas, new Rajput clans became powerful by the eleventh and twelfth centuries.

• With the support of the Brahmanas, many tribes became part of the caste system.

A Closer Look


• The Gonds lived in a vast forested region called Gondwana.

• They practised shifting cultivation.

• The large Gond tribe was divided into many smaller clans and each clan had its own raja (king).

• The administrative system of these kingdoms was becoming centralised.

• The emergence of large states changed the nature of Gond society as equal society gradually got divided into unequal social classes.

• Garha Katanga was a rich state of Gond. When the Mughals defeated the Gonds, they annexed part of the kingdom and granted the rest to Chandra Shah.

• After this, Gond became much weaker and later struggled unsuccessfully against the stronger Bundelas and Marathas.

The Ahoms

• The Ahoms migrated to the Brahmaputra valley from present-day Myanmar in the thirteenth century.

• During the sixteenth century, they annexed the kingdoms of the Chhutiyas (1523) and of Koch-Hajo (1581) and subjugated many other tribes.

• The Ahoms built a large state using firearms as early as 1530s.
→ By 1660s, they could make high-quality gunpowder and cannons.

• In 1662, they were defeated by the Mughals but Mughal control could not last long.

• The Ahom state depended upon forced labour.

• By the first half of the seventeenth century the administration became quite centralised.

• Ahom society was divided into clans or khels.

• The Ahoms worshipped their own tribal gods.
→ During 1714-1744, Hinduism became the predominant religion.

NCERT Solutions of Chapter 7 Tribes, Nomads and Settled Communities

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