A Sociological Study of the Livelihoods of the Baigas in the Baiga-Chak Belt of Dindori, India — Prologue

The text and photographs on this page are copyright by Manish Gangwar and Pradeep Bose. Manish Gangwar is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Sociology at Barkatulla University, Bhopal, India. Pradeep Bose is the Director of the Aaspur Rural Development Project, District of Dungarpur, PKP, Raj., India.


Two relic tribes of Madhya Pradesh, viz. the Baigas and the Gonds of Central Gondwana region (CGR) of India call themselves the most ancient inhabitants of India. Meanwhile, mitochondrial DNA sequencing of the Baigas and the Gonds and of the Australian aboriginal tribes by Kumar, Ravuri, Koneru, Urade, Sarkar, Chandrasekar and Rao (2009) proved beyond doubt the antiquity of these two Indian tribes and their relatedness to their Australian kin. Hence Baigas have been living in India for at least 60,000 years, because it was then that the ancestors of Australian tribal stock, the splinter group of the Baigas and the Gonds from the CGR, took the 'Southern route' from India to Australia. Moreover, within the CGR, home of the Baigas, lies the site of Ghughua Paleobotanical and Paleozoological Park of the Eocene period that is about 55 million years old. This Ghughua (name of a place, about 15 sq. Km. in area and about 125 Km. away from Baiga-Chak) park has fossils of ostrich eggs, eucalyptus stems and many such flora and fauna that do not occur in India but are common in Australia, suggesting that CGR and Australia were once part of the same vicinity and were of the same continent. Further, there is a great opportunity to conduct a comparative study of Australian aborigines' languages and the ancient language of the Gonds (who are from the same indigenous genetic stock as the Baigas), who, unlike the Baigas, have retained their mother tongue. Such a study may uncover many linguistic similarities between the two geographically disparate tribal groups.

Photography and text © 2012, Manish Gangwar and Pradeep Bose. All rights reserved.


Gangwar, M., and Bose, P. (2012), "A Sociological Study of the Livelihoods of the Baigas in Baiga-Chak Belt of Dindori, India." The Peoples of the World Foundation. Retrieved May 20, 2024, from The Peoples of the World Foundation.

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