Tribes, Nomads And Settled Communities: Class 7 History NCERT Chapter 7

Key Features of NCERT Material for Class 7 History Chapter 7 – Tribes, Nomads and Settled Communities

In the last chapter 6 of NCERT class 7 History: Towns, Traders, And Craftspersons, you studied about court towns, trading towns and managerial towns, and specialities of different towns. You also learned the emergence of some small towns and different craftwork. In chapter 7 of class 7 NCERT History book: tribes, nomads and settled communities, you will understand what were tribes and tribal societies, You will also get to know about pastoral nomads, and some tribes like  The Gonds, The Ahoms, etc.

Quick revision notes

During the Medieval Age, a few social, economic, and political advancements occurred. 

The Indian culture was isolated on the basis of varnas. During the medieval period, the gap between the rich and poor expanded. 

There were, be that as it may, many communities which didn’t follow the rules set by the Brahmins. These incorporated the tribes, nomads and settled communities. 

Tribal Societies 

  • Tribes are individuals who don’t follow standards by society. 
  • A large portion of the tribes was dependent on farming. Others were herders or hunter-gatherers. 
  • Tribes were nomadic and moved to start with one spot then onto the next. 
  • Numerous tribes lived in forests, slopes, deserts and different spots which were hard to reach. They safeguarded their culture and heritage through oral custom. 
  • There were even conflicts among  Tribes and powerful societies. 
  • Contemporary history specialists and travellers from medieval India hardly give any data about the clans. 
  • A significant number of the tribes developed as politically powerful groups through their regions of impact and various activities. 
  • Few of the most powerful Tribes were Langahs and Arghuns in Multan; Gaddis in the Himalayas; Khokhar tribe in Punjab; 
  • Gonds of Chhattisgarh; Kolis and Berads of Gujara, Bhil tribe in Central India, and so forth. 
  • The tribal societies experienced a change because of association with the Hindu and Islamic societies. 

Pastoral Nomads 

  • The pastoral nomads moved to start with one spot then onto the next with their group of creatures. 
  • They lived on milk items and traded ghee, fleece, and so on with farmers for grains, fabric, utensils, and so forth. 
  • The most significant trader nomads were Banjaras. Their caravan was known as ‘tanda’. Emperor Alauddin Khilji utilized Banjaras for movement of grains to the city markets. 
  • Pastoral nomads fundamentally raised and sold creatures like horses and cows to the prosperous individuals. 

Changes in Caste Structure of India 

  • In the fields of trade and agriculture, there rose a multi-caste population in numerous towns by virtue of the spread of Islam. 
  • Sufi and Bhakti movements taught equality between various castes and religious groups. 
  • Inter-caste marriages started between Rajputs and Muslim aristocrats. 
  • With the development of the economy, new jatis and varnas emerged. 
  • Numerous tribes turned out to be a part of rule changes. 

The Gonds 

  • Gonds were once in a while alluded to by their tribal language, Gondi. Shifting agriculture was practised by them.
  • The Gonds emerged when the Delhi Sultanate declined. 
  • The Gond kingdom Gondwana in southeastern Madhya Pradesh was established in the fifteenth century. The Gond Tribe: A Carved door


In this chapter: tribes, nomads, and settled communities, we will also Ahoms tribe:

  • The Ahom tribe followed certain tribes living in south-east Asia who had travelled overland through the forests of Assam. 
  • The religion and culture of Assam is a combination of the neighbourhood customs and of nomad tribes. 
  • The Ahoms had a place with a warrior class and built roads and irrigation even before they established their rule. 

The Ahoms shaped the new kingdom by dismissing old political arrangements of Bhuiyans. 

Tribal societies were completely different from those which existed in enormous urban cities. 

Tribal societies didn’t follow the social rules and customs, endorsed by the Brahmanas, since they isolated societies into various unequal classes. These societies were called tribes. 

There was a special bond of kinship among individuals from every tribe. 

Their principle source of survival was agriculture. Herders and hunter-gatherers were there as well.

A few tribes were travelling and continued moving starting with one spot then onto the next. 

A tribe controlled land and fields together and partitioned these among households according to its own guidelines. 

Numerous enormous tribes lived in timberlands, hills, deserts and places hard to reach. 

Tribal individuals didn’t maintain written records. However, they saved rich traditions and oral customs which help students of history to gather information about them. 

Tribal individuals were spread in pretty much every area of the subcontinent. Some powerful tribes had control over huge regions. 

About More Tribes:

In Punjab, the Khokhar tribe was exceptionally influential during the thirteenth and fourteenth hundreds of years. Afterwards, the Gakkhars turned out to be more significant. 

In Multan and Sind, the Languages and Arghuns ruled huge regions. 

The Balochis lived in the north-west. 

The Shepherd tribe of Gaddis were found in the western Himalayas. 

The north-eastern piece of the subcontinent was dominated by the Nagas, Ahoms and numerous others. 

The Mundas and Santals were significant tribes found in Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa and Bengal. 

The Kolis lived in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Gujarat. 

The Bhils were found in western and central India. 

The Gonds were spread across Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. 

Nomadic pastoralists lived on milk and other pastoral items. The Banjaras were the most significant trade-nomads. 

Small castes or jatis rose with the development of society. Smiths, carpenters and masons were perceived as independent jatis. 

Among the Kshatriyas, new Rajput tribes turned out to be ground-breaking by the eleventh and twelfth centuries. They had a place with various lineages, for example, Hunas, Chandelas, Chalukyas, and so on. A few of these had been tribes before. Huge numbers of these tribes came to be viewed as Rajputs. 

The rise of Rajput tribes to the rulers set a model for the tribal individuals to follow. 

A gond woman: Tribes, Nomads And Settled CommunitiesThe Gonds

The Gonds lived in a huge forested area known as Gondwana. They practised shifting agriculture. The enormous Gond clan was additionally partitioned into numerous smaller clans. Every tribe had its own raja or rai. When the rule of the Delhi Sultans was diminishing, few of large Gond kingdoms were starting to suppress the relatively smaller Gond Chiefs. The Akbar Nama makes reference to the Gond realm of Garha Katanga. 

Garha Katanga was a rich province. But, it was defeated by the Mughals. Even then, the Gond kingdoms survived for quite a while. 

During the thirteenth, The Ahoms relocated to the Brahmaputra valley from present-day Myanmar. They made another state by dismissing the older political system of the bhuiyans (landlords). 

During the sixteenth century, they annexed the kingdoms of the Chhutiyas and of Koch-Hajo and oppressed numerous different tribes. Subsequently, they built an enormous state. In any case, they faced numerous attacks from the south-west and later they were defeated by the Mughals. 

Ahom society was isolated into clans or Khels. The society was exceptionally sophisticated. 

The Ahoms worshipped their own tribal deities. But, in the rule of Sib Singh Hinduism became a dominant religion. However, the Ahom kings didn’t totally surrender their traditional beliefs. 


A group of households or families claiming descent from a common ancestor. The tribal organisation is often based on family relationship or clan loyalties.


People who continuously move from one place to another place.

Nomadic pastoralists:

People who move over significantly long distances with their creatures.


The caravan of the Banjaras was known tanda.

Itinerant Group:

This group comprises craftspersons, peddlers and entertainers who travel from one place to another doing their various occupations.

Shifting Cultivation:

First cutting and then burning of trees and bushes in the forest . The crop is then cultivated in the ashes. After some time when this land is no longer fertile, another area of land is cleared and sown in the same manner.

1591 – Cheers lost in a battle.

1523 – The Ahoms annexed the realms of the Chaityas.

1581 – The Ahoms annexed the realms of Koch-Hajo.

1662 – Attacked on the Ahonri kingdom by the Mughals under Mir Jumla.

1714-1744 – Sib Singh ruled the Ahom kingdom.

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