[East Indian / Indigenous Kolis’, Kulbis’ and Aagris’ in traditional ‘Lugras’]
BIPA was founded in the year 2008 only after attending to crimes against the indigenous people of the 7 islands of Bombay / Mobaim [real name]. Mob = People and ‘Aim’ [‘m’ is nasal pronounced Aai ‘m’] = Mother
BIPA – Bombay’s Indigenous Peoples Association was named only for its political correctness, because the Bombay High court that still recognises the Indigenous of the land.
The richest metropolis was built by various governments only because the indigenous gave part of their lands to build roads, railways and the airports among other institutions and playgrounds.
Sadly a very large population of the indigenous still remain in abject poverty in their own motherland.
Who are the Indigenous people: Genetic tests and social and cultural heritage prove those communities who have not migrated from other places but have been here since the beginning of civilisation and the separation of the tectonic plates from Africa. The founder of this organisation Mr. Luke Gabriel Mendes did his genetic tests from the National Geographic Society [the Genome Project] and learnt that the indigenous have been here since more than 65,000 years on these same latitudes.
In Ancient times the first tradition was hunting and gathering. The coastal communities were organised socially, with each tribe providing a service to the community they thrived in.
When the fishermen took breaks from their tradition during the monsoon season which is the fish breeding season, they practised farming. Some remained farmers while other continued to fish. These farmers were called ‘Kulbis’ since ancient times and even now refer to themselves as ‘Kulbis’.
A Tribe of fishermen caught fish their entire tribe is called a Koli. The Indigenous Koli’s are distinctively different from all other neighbouring kolis. People from Palghar, Satt patti and Ratnagiri came here and adopted fishing since the Indigenous community accepted all into their fold of brotherhood to share Nature’s harvest. A tribe of hunter gatherer lived in forests and hunted and gathered forest produce like animal game, honey, medicine etc. are called ‘Aadivasis’. Another skilled tribe was the potter who made pots and other utensils that were used by all other tribes. These potters are called ‘Kumbhars. The Ancient society was divided into skilled and service providing communities. Each community was given a name as an identity of their service. There was no currency but a Barter of goods and services prevailed. To be part of the ancient society one had to acquire skills that were offered to the collective whole. This system is the most ancient system of Organisation of Tribes.
With the “visitations” of the Aryans, Moguls, Portuguese, British and the neighbouring tribes, a small number of cultural adaptations were included in the community, not allowing the millennia old traditions to be corrupted at all. These adaptations were in the areas of Cuisines, Clothing, Currency, and language. The Mother tongue ‘Prakriti’ [today known as East Indian Prakriti Marathi] was sacred and was preserved at home and among the community. When it comes to culture and heritage, there is a strong sense of pride and family among the Indigenous tribes / peoples of Bombay. The Sense of belonging and family among the indigenous is evident with its practise of cultural traditions.
[Mobaim / Bombay’s Indigenous women before a ceremony of Umbrachi paani. A traditional Fig tree water ritual before a marriage ceremony]