Also found in: Wikipedia.


(bēlz), people, numbering about 3 million, who inhabit portions of Pakistan and of W central India, especially S Rajasthan and Gujarat states. They speak an Indo-European language, Bhili, and retain a distinctive culture, much affected by, but not absorbed into, Hinduism. They were traditional enemies of the Rajputs and allies of the Mughals.


See S. M. Doshi, Bhils (1971).



a group of related Indian tribes living mainly in the mountainous areas of the states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Bombay. There are about 2.8 million Bhils (1967 estimate). They speak Bhil dialects related to Indian (Indo-Aryan) languages. Their religion is Hinduism, but they preserve ancient animistic beliefs. The basic occupation is agriculture (cultivation of rice, millet, beans and vegetables); hunting and fishing play a major role in their economy. The Bhils are being assimilated by neighboring peoples (Rajasthani, Gujarati, and Marathas).


Narody Iuzhnoi Azii. Moscow, 1963.
Naik, T. B. The Bhils. Delhi, 1956.
References in periodicals archive ?
Bhils using home- made bows and arrows to settle personal scores over money, land and women is not a new phenomenon in the state's Indore- Malwa region, particularly in Alirajpur and Jhabua districts.
Due to lack of proper health care for the pregnant women among Bhils, Bhilala and Pataliya tribes in Dhar district, Madhya Pradesh problem of breastfeeding arises.
And if you want true local flavour you can visit the villages of the Rabaris, Bhils and Garasias.
And I remember Kamaladevi made the villagers bring out a charpoy and we sat and saw them working on the sand doing indigo printing for the Bhils.
Temple priest Pandit Vishal Baba said Bhils looted the religious offerings, and suggested that this was a traditional practice.
Among the STs, numerically the more important tribes are the Gonds of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh; the Bhils of Rajasthan, Gujrat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra; and the Santhals of Bihar, Orissa and West Bengal.
He gathered several tribes comprising of Ramoshis, Bhils and others and launched an armed struggle against the British and even managed to take control briefly over the city of Pune.
Chapter 22 on Dimensions of social change among the Bhils of Rajasthan by Anita Srivastava is a detailed analytical work on the cultural and social transformation of Bhils.
During the moment of conviviality they are flanked and supported by lesser mortals Bhils, a scheduled tribe -And on some rare occasions an elderly Rajput women would also indulge in similar practice of limited public inebriation, while taking opium.
Bill and Lucie worked among the Bhils, training evangelists and pastors, providing lay training and illiteracy programs and setting up the famine relief program.
But the local tribal Bhils who install these in their shrines say it is the hand of their god blessing them.
A legal activist working on issues related to disadvantaged and displaced people, Dhagamwar explores how tribal people in her native India view government authorities, focusing on the Bhils in Maharashtra, and the Santals and Pahadiyas in what became the state of Jharkhand in 2000.