NCERT Class 7 History Chapter 7: Tribes, Nomads and Settled Communities YouTube Lecture Handouts

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Watch Video Lecture on YouTube: NCERT Class 7 History Chapter 7: Tribes, Nomads and Settled Communities

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

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  • Societies evolved by Varna System as prescribed by Brahamanas

  • Tribes: Not divided into unequal classes. Members were united under kinship bonds – agriculture, hunter, gatherer or herder, they were nomadic and controlled land and pastures jointly.

  • Tribes lived in forest, hills, desert and places difficult to reach, tribes retained their freedom & preserved separate culture

  • Tribes did not keep written records and preserved rich customs and oral traditions

  • Powerful tribes controlled large areas. Punjab – 13th and 14th century – Khokhar tribes and later Gakkhar tribes (Their chief, Kamal Khan Gakkhar, was made noble by Emperor Akbar)

  • Multan & Sindh - Langahs and Arghuns tribes; Balochis were powerful in NW & divided into smaller clans (group of families or households claiming descent from a common ancestor)

  • Western Himalayas – Gaddi Tribes

  • North East - Nagas, Ahoms tribes

  • Bihar & Jharkhand – Cheros Tribes (Raja Man Singh, Akbar’s general defeated Cheros in 1591)

  • Orissa & Bengal – Mundas & Santhals

  • Maharashtra, Karnataka & Gujarat – Kolis

  • South India - Koragas, Vetars, Maravars

  • Western & Central India – Bhils

  • Chhattisgarh, MP, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh – Gonds

Image of Tribes Nomads And Settled Communities Class

Image of Tribes Nomads and Settled Communities Class

Moving People

  • Nomadic Pastoralists - moved long distances with animals

  • Lived on milk and pastoral products

  • Exchanged wool, ghee, etc., with settled agriculturists for grain, cloth, utensils

  • Banjaras – trader nomads, caravans known as tanda, they bought grains where it was cheaper and sold where it was dearer - Alauddin Khalji used Banjaras to transport grain to the city markets, transported food grains to army during military campaigns

  • Itinerant groups: Craftspersons, pedlars and entertainers travel from place to place practising their different occupations

  • Both Nomads and Itinerants visited same place every year

  • Mendicants acted as wandering merchants

New Castes

  • Smaller caste and jatis emerged within varnas

  • New caste appeared amongst Brahmans

  • Smiths, carpenters and masons were also recognized as separate jatis by Brahmanas

  • Jatis & not varna became basis for organizing society

  • Rathakaras (chariot makers): Include architecture, building coaches and chariots – as mentioned in Uyyakondan Udaiyar, in Tiruchirapalli taluka

  • In Kshatriyas – Rajputs emerged (belonged to different lineages, such as Hunas, Chandelas, Chalukyas) – it gave way for tribal population to follow

  • Emergence of state is related to social change amongst tribals


  • Lived in Gondwanaland

  • Practiced shifting agriculture

  • Each clan had its own raja or rai

  • Large Gond kingdoms were beginning to dominate smaller Gond chiefs

  • Akbar Nama, history of Akbar’s reign, mentioned Gond kingdom of Garha Katanga that had 70,000 villages

  • Centralized administration with kingdom divided into garh.

  • Garh was controlled by Gonds & divided into 84 villages as chaurasi

  • Chaurasi further divided into group of 12 villages as barhots

  • Society became unequal

  • Brahmanas got land grant from Gond rajas and became influential

  • Gond chiefs wished to be recognized as Rajputs

  • Aman Das, Gond raja of Garha Katanga, assumed title of Sangram Shah

  • His son, Dalpat, married princess Durgawati, the daughter of Salbahan, the Chandel Rajput raja of Mahoba. Dalpat died early but Durgawati was capable and ruled in lieu of 5-year old son, Bir Narain. Mughal forces under Asaf Khan attacked – Durgawati preferred to died rather than surrender and later her son also died.

  • Garha Katanga was rich state & earned by trapping and exporting wild elephants to other kingdoms. Mughals captured precious coins and elephants, annexed and granted the rest to Chandra Shah, an uncle of Bir Narain.

  • After fall of Garha Katanga, Gond kingdoms survived for some time and became weaker later


  • Migrated to Brahmaputra valley form Myanmar in 13th century

  • Created new state of Bhuiyans (landlords)

  • 16th century they annexed kingdoms of Chhutiyas (1523) & Koch-Hajo (1581)

  • 1530s: Used firearms

  • 1660s: made gunpowder & cannons

  • In 1662, Mughals under Mir Jumla attacked Ahoms & defeated them

  • State depended on forced labors & those forced to work were called paiks. Each village had to send paiks on rotation

  • Early 17th century: Administration was centralized with all adult males in army during war, at other times in building dams and public work

  • Society divided into clans or khels. Khel controlled several villages.

  • Initially worshipped tribal gods but later influence of Brahmanas increased & during Sib Singh – Hinduism became common

  • Poets and theatre was common

  • Work of Sanskrit was translated to local language

  • Historical works (buranjis) were written first in Ahom language and then in Assamese


  • Varna based society & tribal people interacted

  • Many merged with caste based society with time

  • Others rejected caste system and Hinduism

  • Some became politically powerful


  • Pastoral and hunter-gatherer tribe

  • Inhabited the grasslands (steppes) of Central Asia and the forested areas further north

  • By 1206 Genghis Khan had united Mongol and Turkish tribes into a powerful military force. At his death (1227) he was the ruler of extensive territories.

  • His successor’s ruled till Russia, Eastern Europe, China and West Asia.

  • Organized military and administrative systems based on support of different ethnic and religious groups

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