What kinds of exchanges took place between nomadic pastoralists and settled agriculturists?
Nomadic pastoralists used to exchange wool, ghee, etc., with settled agriculturists for grain, cloth, utensils and other products.
How was the administration of the Ahom state organised?
The administration of the Ahom state was very centralised in the first half of the 17th century. Ahom society was divided into different clans. A clan generally had many villages under its control. Village community used to give land to the peasants. Decisions of the community were being taken with the consent of the community. Even the king was not despotic. He used to take decisions with the consent of the community.
What changes took place in varna-based society?
When varna-based society and tribal society came in contact with each other, many changes took place. Many tribal societies merged into the varna-based society. Although, there were many tribal groups that rejected the varna system and orthodox Hinduism, there were same other tribes, that were able to establish large states that had a well-organised system of administration. Due to the merging of tribal people in varna-based society, it became difficult to identify a tribal person from the varna society.
How did tribal societies change after being organised into a state?
Many tribal groups merged with varna-based society and established large states. With this, they started functioning as a well-knit administration. As they became powerful, they came into conflict with other larger and more complex kingdoms and empires.
Were the Banjaras important for the economy?
In the age of ancient means of transportation, the Banjaras were very important for the economy. Banjaras basically were trader nomads. Sultans such as Ala-ud-din Khalji transported grains to city markets with the help of Banjaras. Emperor Jahangir wrote that Banjaras used to carry grains on their bullocks from different areas for selling them in the town. They even transported grains for the army during military campaigns. They bought grain from places where it was cheaply available and sold it in places where there was a scarcity. Not only grains but also other things of daily use were transported by them.
In what ways was the history of the Gonds different from that of the Ahoms? Were there any similarities?
Differences in the history of Gonds and Ahoms:
(i) Gonds lived in a vast forested region of Gondwana but Ahoms migrated to Brahmaputra valley from present day Myanmar.
(ii) Gonds used to do shifting cultivation but Ahoms used to do forced labour for the state.
(iii) When the power of Delhi Sultans declined, a few large Gond Kingdoms started to dominate the smaller Gond chiefs. But Ahoms themselves annexed many kingdoms and subjugated other tribes.
(iv) Gonds became powerful during Akbar’s Empire but in 1565 C.E. they were defeated by the Mughal forces. Ahoms became powerful in Akbar’s empire but were defeated in Aurangzeb’s Empire.
(v) Gonds were unable to forge large kingdoms. Ahoms were able to establish their own large kingdoms.
Similarities in the history of Gonds and Ahoms:
(i) Both tribes became powerful during the Mughal Empire and both were defeated by the Mughal army.
(ii) Societies of both Gond and Ahom tribes were divided into clans that controlled some villages.
(iii) Administrative system of both the tribes was very much centralised in which society was divided into clans.
Find out how grain is transported from villages to cities at present. In what ways is this similar to or different from the ways in which the Banjaras functioned?
At present, grain is transported from villages to cities in lorries, trucks, trains, etc. The present-day method is much faster than the method of Banjaras who used bullock carts for grain transportation.
Discuss why the Mughals were interested in the land of the Gonds.
(i) The Mughals ruled over the northern part of India. They wished to expand their control
over the southern parts of the subcontinent
(ii) In order to achieve this, they had to conquer the central part of the subcontinent ruled by the Gonds.
On the physical map of the subcontinent, identify the areas in which the tribal people may have lived.
Why do you think the Mughals tried to conquer the land of the Ahoms?
The Ahoms ruled in the north-east region of the subcontinent. The Mughals, in order to expand their domain in the entire subcontinent, tried to conquer the land of Ahoms. Also, the land of Ahoms was a rich source of forest produce and animals such as elephants, which could be used as war animals. These factors led to the Mughal attack on the land of Ahoms.