Hakki Pikki Tribal Community


Context: In August 2023, 114 tribal people from the Hakki Pikki tribal community in Karnataka got title deeds to the land they had been cultivating for about a century

  • The colony for the nomadic tribe is located on the edge of Bannerghatta National Park (BNP), about 36 km from Bengaluru.
  • The settlement on the edge of the Bannerghatta National Park has both Hakki Pikki and Irula tribals staying here.
  • In 1962, the Government of Karnataka allotted 350 acres of land for them to sustain themselves through agriculture. 
  • But for the longest time, the Forest Department claimed that the tribes were encroachers.
  • In 1974, the Bannerghatta wooded area was declared as a National Park which led to the criminalisation of these communities living on the edges of the forest.


About the Hakki Pikkis tribes


  • Residential Location
    • The Hakki Pikkis are traditionally a semi-nomadic tribe of bird catchers and hunters, who settled down in several parts of Karnataka.
    • They also reside in the Western and Southern states of India, mostly near forest areas
    • The community migrated from Northern India, mainly Gujarat and Rajasthan, and is now mainly concentrated in Shivamogga, Davanagere, and Mysuru district of Karnataka.
  • They are recognized as a Scheduled Tribe in India.


  • Occupation
    • In the last 20 years the community left bird catching and hunting, and have started to prepare traditional medicines, especially hair oils
    • They now travel globally to sell these products, especially in the African continent, where there is a demand for cheaper alternatives to Western medicine.


  • Language
    • Though they are surrounded by Dravidian languages speaking people of southern India, the community speaks an Indo-Aryan language.
    • Their mother tongue was designated as 'Vaagri' by scholars.
    • UNESCO has listed 'Vaagri' as one of the endangered languages.


  • Social Rituals
    • Their society is matriarchal, where the groom gives dowry to the bride’s family.
    • The tribe prefers cross-cousin marriages
    • The eldest son in a family is not supposed to cut his hair so that he can be identified easily.
    • The tribe follows Hindu traditions and festivals.
    • They are non-vegetarians.


Imp for: UPSC Prelims, UPSC GS Mains Paper I

Topic: Indian Society, Diversity of India, Scheduled Tribes



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