(redirected from Bhil)
Also found in: Wikipedia.


Bhils (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).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2022, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



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.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
No road is there so we don't have any transportation facility," said Rama Bhil, a resident of the village.
Dr Payal Tadvi belonged to the Adivasi Tadvi Bhil community, a Scheduled Tribe - which is designated by the Indian Constitution as being historically disadvantaged.
Some members of the Bhil tribe who were caught into this violent venture had their own hesitations.
Similarly, Tee Rink (1995) has documented the seasonal survival migration of poor tribal (Bhil) households from Maharashtra to the sugarcane fields of southern Gujarat.
The Bhil, Gonds, Mundas, Santhals and Oraons are Scheduled tribes living in the eastern and central regions of India and are believed to belong to the Australoid race.
The understanding of the chemistry of clay goes beyond the potter into other realms: the block-printers of Akola and Pipad in Rajasthan who use it in their special dabu--mud-resist style of printing; the cire perdue lost-wax method of metal-casting followed by tribal Dholcra craffspersons who create the inner core of their objects with clay; the mural painters from the Warli tribes of Maharashtra; the artists of Hazaribagh in Jharkhand; the Pithora paintings of the Bhil and Bihal tribes of western Madhya Pradesh; the Rathwas of eastern Gujarat who coat their wall-canvas with a mix of clay and other material.
Some pastoral tribes (Kohli, Bhil, Meghwar, Odes) did not migrate, as they never wanted to desert their land and cattle, their only sure sources of livelihood.
As per Table 1, the most common caste of the participants was Bhil (25), followed by Dhodiya Patel (20), Rathawa (8), Chaudhari (8), and others.
It is mainly due to deforestation, forest fragmentation, anthropogenic disturbances, agricultural encroachment (Kumara & Singh 2006, Kumara & Suganthasakthivel 2011), hunting (Nandini 2001a, b, Kumara & Singh 2004), construction of national highways and cultural myths such as dried body, bones and hairs of flying squirrels are kept in huts of Bhil tribe, pieces of bones are tied around the neck of under weight human infants by Bhil and Garasia tribes and hair of flying squirrels are also used to fumigate the under weight human infants in the hope of weight gain (Koli et al.
When she left her normal life in Ottawa as a young woman, it was to go to the Bhil Field in rural India, the jungle, the ultimate middle of nowhere; knowing relatively nothing of the country, or of being a missionary.