The Bhil community does
not need any particular introduction. It has prevailed
in existence since the time of the Ramayana. Lord Rama
ate the fruits tasted by a devoted Bhil woman named
Shabari. Innumerable poems and stories are woven with
the reference of the Bhil community.
The Bhils are the oldest community living in
forests. Many scientists have lost their importance
and status with the passage of time. The response
towards the Bhil community has also undergone a big
change. The Bhils are living a life or tribals with
bows and arrows. They are also linked with crinimal
acts like theft and robbery. Bows and arrows are their
The Panchmahal district has large population
of the Bhils. They have come out of the forests and
now they can be seen near the village areas. Some
Bhils have entered the field of agriculture both as
land-owners and labourers. However, by and large they
have remained tribals. Their expertise in bow and
arrow is still unchallenged.
There are some minor differences among the
Bhils. Most Bhils are black in complexion as they
reside in jungles. But some Bhils are found wheatish
too. They call themselves ‘Pateliya’. The Bhils are
basically a gentle community. Rana Pratap was also
helped by the Bhils when he was in and around Aravalli
Bhils are basically charming with an average
height of five and a half foot. They differ from other
tribals with their big forehead pointed nose and thin
lips. The Bhils women are charming, attractive and
symetrical. The Bhils men and women are not timid in
nature like some other tribals. They sing their folk
songs of bravery and spirit.
Living in hills and forests has brought
considerable poverty to them. the Bhils use roots,
maize, and other similar type of corns in their food.
Some Bhils live on chicken and duck too. When the
drought hit the community severely, many Bhils
resorted to robbery some years ago. The terror of
Bhills still prevails to an extent in the areas of
panchmahals, Chhotaudepur and Rajpipla. Rest of the
community looks after the family of those who are
arrested and sent to jail by the authorities. There
are 29 tribals communitites in Gujarat. The Bhils are
the largest of them all. Their language is based on
The Bhils are very much fond of ornaments.
They are made of metal, silver, clay or even flowers.
The women load themselvesf with different ornaments in
hand, fingers, neck and ear.
Holi, Diwali, and Akha Trij are the main
festivals of the Bhils community. They are the
devotees of Lord Rama. They place the idols of
different goddesses at the outskirts of the town or at
the top of a hill. They are a very superstitious
people and believe in evil-spirit. They pray
particular Gods and deities to shed the effect of evil
Thakkarbapa established the Bhils Seva mandal,
an institution devoted to the upliftment of the Bhil
community in 1922. The activities of education clean
life and development have born fruits. Some more
institutions like Anand Niketan Ashram at Rangpur near
Chhotaudepur, Pachhat Seva Mandal at vadodara and
tribal centres of Bhiloda and Meghraj are also active
in the field.