Most Authentic Places to Visit a Tribal Village


Modernization is a global phenomenon; we are often in a constant need to make everything easier through the use of technology. I am really glad to have been born in this era where the world is a global village and information is just a tap away, however, there are some communities in the world that are still keeping their traditions alive and have no desire to join the modern world.

There is beauty in their authentic way of life. It is a simple, peaceful life and the tribes’ people may be materially poor but they are very rich socially and emotionally. There is very little known about these tribes as they have managed to seclude themselves from the rest of the world. It is however exciting that some of them are allowing people to get to know them. Some of these tribes are also dwindling in numbers due to encroachment and interference from outsiders.

Here are some of the most authentic places to visit a tribal village and immerse yourself in their unique, undiluted culture before some of them end up with the same fate as the dinosaur species.

1. The Waiapi tribe


These amazing village people are located in the dense jungle of the Amazon rainforest. They are self-sufficient as everything they need to survive is found in the forest. They survive by hunting and subsistence farming.

It is a backbreaking job to survive in the green jungle but once the work is done, the Waiapi relax by enjoying their self-brewed beer known as the Caxiri. It is a brew made from yams and cassava. Cassava is their staple food and they practice nomadic farming. They believe that they can both understand and talk to animals. They respect the Amazon and live in full harmony with the rainforest.

2. The Batwa tribe


They are also known as the Pygmies, they are a group of endangered people living in the Kabale District of Southwestern Uganda. They live in small grass and stick huts. They have lived in harmony with the forest for more than 500,000 years. They don’t practice farming or livestock keeping.

All throughout these years, they have simply depended on the rainforest. They consider themselves the custodians of the rainforest and are doing all they can to help save the ancient forests that have provided for past generations.

3. The Huli tribe


They are the largest indigenous group inhabiting Papua New Guinea. They are famous for their dramatic headgear and beautiful face paintings. They survive by practicing shift farming whereby they leave old worn-out tracts of land to recuperate and move on to virgin lands.

The Huli tribe domesticated animals such as pigs, and hens and they also keep dogs for hunting purposes.

4. The Hadzabe tribe


They are one of the last hunter-gatherers in Africa. It is a small tribe of about 1,300 people who live between Lake Eyasi and the embankment of the Great Rift valley in Tanzania. Just like the Batwa of Uganda, they don’t practice farming or keep livestock.

They survive by traditional hunting and gathering. They speak a click language like the Khoisans. Their land is slowly being encroached and unfortunately, they might soon be extinct.

5. The San tribe


They are the oldest inhabitants of Southern Africa. They are commonly known as the Bushmen. They currently live in Botswana and speak a click language. As they are descendants of the Early Stone Age ancestors, they live in caves under rocky overhangs or in temporary shelters.

They have great tracking and hunting skills and survive through hunting and gathering. A fun fact about them is that while traveling or hunting, they will carry water in an ostrich eggshell. Their resilience is the main reason they have been able to survive life in the Kalahari Desert.

6. The Kazakh tribe


They are commonly known as the golden eagle hunters and they inhabit the province of Bayan -ölgii which means the rich cradle. They are the descendants of Turkic, Mongolic, and Indo-Iranian. The Kazakh can be found in Mongolia and Xinjiang, China. Apart from hunting golden eagles, they are also great bird trainers.

They also hunt red and corsac foxes. The tribe lives in yurt tents which are portable and keeps Mongol horses which are small in stature and can be mistaken for ponies. Their equine population surpasses their human population. The Kazakh has a very rich culture and still practices many of their old traditions.

7. The Himba tribe


They are located in the Kunene region in Northern Namibia. They are the last semi-nomadic people of Namibia. They survive by practicing subsistence farming and livestock rearing. Their staple food is sour milk and maize porridge.

The women in this community do the most labor-intensive work compared to the men. They wear clothes made from calfskin and cover their faces with otjize paste to protect themselves from the Sun. The paste is made from butterfat and ochre pigment. They observe every aspect of their traditions.

8. The Dogon tribe


They are best known for their masks dances, wooden sculptures, and religious traditions. They live in Mali, Africa, and are probably one of the country’s major tourist attractions. They are believed to be of Egyptian descent.

The Drogon Tribe claims to be the living passage between heaven and earth and possesses astronomical knowledge. Dogons also claim to have early cosmos knowledge relating to man’s true origin. There is a whole intriguing legend on the Dogons’ origin, even scientists are having a hard time trying to explain how the Dogons got their knowledge and artifacts.

9. The Chimbu tribe


These mysterious tribesmen inhabit the Chimbu Province situated in the Central Highlands of Papua New Guinea. The most fascinating thing about them is perhaps their skeletal body paint and their dances during their cultural festivals.

There is still so little known about the Chimbu tribe even though their first contact with the western world was in 1934. They initially painted themselves to psychologically create fear in their enemies but now they do it for celebratory purposes.

10. The Asaro tribe


They are also known as the Mudmen tribe. They inhabit the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea just on the outskirts of the Goroka village. They have a very unique way of dressing, they paint their skin white and wear eerie clay masks decorated with pigs’ teeth and shells.

There are two legends that try to explain the origin of the unique ghoulish masks but they all agree that the masks were mostly used to intimidate their enemies who thought that the Asaro men were ghosts.

11. The Ifugao mountain people


They reside in the Philippines in Northern Luzon. They are famous rice cultivators. The best time to visit is in April during the Imbayah festival. The festival is a celebration of good harvest and abundance.

12. The Katu tribe


They live in Southern Laos. They are mostly known for performing Buffalo sacrifices. The tribe are animists, which means that they have a religious belief that objects, places, and creatures all possess a distinct spiritual essence.

Another outstanding thing about them is that they like to prepare for their own funeral. They design their own coffins and store them in their houses until the need arises. They mostly grow rice, corn, and manioc. Women weave clothing and make pieces of jewelry from ivory for income.

13. The Batak people


They are situated in Samosir, Singapore and the main importance to the tribe is that they are big on ancestral worship. They even have graves that are bigger than their homes located within the grounds of the family home.

The Batak People also have their own small museum where visitors can view their traditional artifacts and more.

14. The Truku/Taroko tribe


They are one of the officially recognized aboriginal tribes of the Island of Taiwan. They live in Taroko in Taiwan. The best time to visit is during their traditional hunting ceremonies.

The hunting ceremonies are used to communicate with the spirits of the ancestors and to receive blessings before setting off to hunt in the mountain.

15. The Black Hmong


They are an ethnic group in East and Southeast Asia. The most fascinating fact about them is their tradition to honor the Buffalo. The Buffalo to them is a highly regarded animal as it represents wealth and has medicinal value.

They also don’t choose their own life partner as it is the parents’ responsibility to find the perfect spouse for their descendants.

16. The Warli/Varli tribe


They live in India and are among the numerous indigenous tribes found in the country. The word ‘Warli’ means a piece of land. They are a multi-lingual tribe as they speak Hindi, Tamil, Urdu, and another unwritten language.

The Warli/Varli tribe are traditional farmers and they worship folk gods as well as having many festivals and rituals in regard to nature.

17. The Kurukh/Oraon tribe


This tribe lives both in Nepal and Bangladesh. They speak the Kurukh language which originates from the Dravidian languages and also use a lingua-franca known as Sadri to communicate with non-tribal people.

Their villages are politically organized with each post playing a different role and are also divided into several clans. The tribe tends to also be very musically- talented as seen during their social events and festivals.

18. The Maasai tribe


The Maasai are found in Kenya and Tanzania the tribe are nomadic pastoralists who are very attached to their livestock as it signifies wealth. They are famous for their brave warriors known as the Morans. The Maasai people have managed to remain true to their traditions.

They are also famous for their beaded pieces of jewelry and their shukas which have graced numerous famous catwalks and have been worn by celebrities such as Beyoncé and Janet Jackson to celebrate their African heritage.

19. The Red Dzao tribe


The Red Dzao people are originally from China but migrated to Vietnam around the 12th and 13th centuries. The women wear long blouses over trousers which are colorfully embroidered. The people survive by farming and livestock keeping.

The Red Dzao religion has elements of Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism. They worship the ancestors of the family together with the legendary holy man Ban Vuong, who is considered the earliest ancestor of the Dao people.

20. The Gondi/Adivasi Tribe


This tribe speaks the Gondi Language which originates from the Dravidian language. Gondi people have always had strong outer-worldly, astronomical ideas.

They practice folk Hinduism and still observe their animist beliefs of nature and ancestral worship. Many of their festivals are connected to agriculture and are also known as great storytellers.

So there it is, our list of twenty tribes you need to visit if you want to experience a different way of life, and have lessons from people who have kept their traditional values alive for hundreds if not thousands of years. Take a step out of the 21st century and reconnect with elder ways of life that can often be forgotten in this modern world.

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