Department of Tribal Studies

The University established the Department of Tribal Studies on 1.7.1994 with a view to undertake a comprehensive study of tribal lore and tribal people of Karnataka. Karnataka has three distinct geographical regions: Karavali (coastal), Malenadu (hill region) and Bayaluseeme (plateau). In Karavali and Malenadu we find a large number of tribes and in Bayaluseeme we find a few tribes. Nomadic tribes are also found in Karnataka. The official records mention that in Karnataka we have 50 tribes. But today some of the tribes mentioned in the records are not found anywhere. At the same time we have certain tribes, which are not at all mentioned in the Scheduled Tribes list prepared by the Government. The Government has prepared the Scheduled Tribe list based on the studies conducted during the colonial period. This area of studies has been, hence, neglected so far. In this context, the establishment of the Department of Tribal Studies in Kannada University assumes importance.

The Department of Tribal Studies has come into being to shoulder many important responsibilities. One of the primary responsibilities has been to conduct a comprehensive survey of the Tribes. In this context we need to undertake micro study of each community from the economic, social and cultural perspectives in a scientific manner. The following are some of the major projects taken up by the Department, so far:

  • Giriseeme-the Tribal village: the buildings are modeled on various tribal hamlets of Karnataka which houses the Department of Tribal Studies.
  • Tribal Museum: To narrate and document the changing life of tribal’s.
  • Audio-video documentation: the department has a collection of 242 hours of audio and 70 hours of video documentation containing the Oral epics of various tribes, their rituals, their customs, their dance and other art forms.
  • Tribal Epic Series: Documenting the 13 Tribal epics and publication of 11epics so far.
  • Tribal Studies Series: Four books have been published in this series.
  • Budakattu Adhyayana journal: published since 2003 half yearly.
Vision Statement of the Department
  • To be a source of knowledge, and documentation center with regard to Tribal groups of Karnataka
  • To produce intangible indigenous knowledge of the tribal communities in tangible form
  • To be policy advisor to the Government about the holistic approach necessary for preservation and transformation of tribal lifestyle
  • To coalesce both Social science and humanities perspective in study of tribal groups
Mission Statement of the Department
  • Video documentation of many of the aspects of tribal life which is fast changing
  • To offer training and sensitization of the officers working with tribal people/related issues
  • To intervene and influence government policies about the tribal population
  • Continue documenting tribal narratives/folklore/knowledge systems
Uniqueness of the Department
  • The Department has created an interdisciplinary-multidisciplinary forum to study tribals of Karnataka
  • The Department through its half-yearly journal is sustaining the discussion and research on Tribal Studies in Kannada
  • Development of a unique campus with in campus for the Department
  • Making the world stand up and take notice of the oral epics in Kannada
  • Being a premier institution of policy consultation regarding issues related to tribals
  • One of the few Departments to get UGC SAP in the University
Department Profile

Programmes/Courses of the Department

Ph.D. in Tribal Studies

M.Phil.  in Tribal Studies

Post-graduate Diploma Program in Tribal Studies




Details of the faculties :

Dr K M MetryProfessor Ph.D.Tribal Studies, Sociology, Anthropology, Education DNTS Study
Dr ChaluvarajuProfessorPh.D.Tribal Studies and Kannada Literature
Dr. Gangadhar DaivadnyaPh.D.Tribal Studies and Kannada Literature
Dr. A S PrabhakarProfessor and ChairpersonPh.D.Tribal Studies and Kannada Literature
Major Research Projects

Major Contribution of the Department :
  • Collection of Oral Epics and its publication by the Department- the number of oral epics in Kannada alone has astonished the international scholars
  • Establishing and running Tribal Museum
  • Audio-video documentation as part of the study of tribals
  • Coordinating with State and Central government regarding issues related to tribals
Conference/Seminars/Workshops/Endowment Lectures etc :

Details of Publications, Books and Research Articles (with ISBN,ISSN and without ISBN, ISSN) : 

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Contact Us

Dr.  A.S. Prabhakar

Professor & Chairperson

Department of Tribal Studies

Kannada University, Hampi

Vidyaranya – 583 276

Email :

Mobile : 9449980806

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