According to Ralph Linton tribe is group of bands occupying a contiguous territory or territories having a feeling of unity deriving from numerous similarities in culture ,frequent contacts and a certain community of interests.Ghurye calls the tribal of India as imperfectly segment of the Hindus.D.N Majumdar defines tribe as a social group with territorial affiliation endogamous with no specialization of functions ruled by tribal officers hereditary or otherwise united in language or dialect recognizing social distance with other tribes. A large section of tribal population depends on agriculture for survival. The examples of agricultural tribes are: Oraons, Mundas, Bhils, Santhals, Baigas, and Hos etc. The Toda furnish classic example of pastoral economy. Their social and economic organization is built around the buffaloes. They obtain their living through exchange. In some parts of India the tribal people are engaged in shifting cultivation.
It is known by different names- Nagas call it Jhum,Bhuiya call it Dahi and Koman ,Maria of Bastar call it Penda, Khond refer to it as Podu and Saiga call it Bewar.Many subsidiary occupations like handicrafts are undertaken in the various tribal zones. These include basket-making, spinning and weaving. For e.g. Tharu depend upon furniture making, musical instruments, weapons, ropes and mats. The Korw and Agaria are well known iron-smelters producing tools for local use.