Short Q & A :
Q1: What was the religion of the Ahom state?
Ans : Originally, the Ahoms worshipped their own tribal gods. But gradually they adopted the Vaishnava faith, then prevailing in the Brahmaputra valley. The kings granted land to the temples and Brahmanas. In the reign of Sib Singh (1714-1744), Hinduism became the predominant religion. But the Ahom kings did not completely give up their traditional beliefs after adopting Hinduism and kept a harmonious balance by also preserving their ancestral religion.
Q2: State some characteristics of the tribal societies?
The main characteristics of the tribal societies are as follows:
Q3: Who were Mongols? What was the basis of military and administrative systems of Mongols?
Ans : Mongols were the best-known pastoral and hunter-gatherer tribe in history. The basis of military and administrative systems of Mongols was the support of different ethnic and religious groups
Q4: Explain the term 'khel' in reference to Ahom society.
Ans : The Ahom society was divided into different clans or khels on the basis of their specifically assigned occupation and their hereditary status. The Khels were assigned to different officials at different orders of gradation. Membership to a particular khel signified that they were the descendants of a common ancestor. A khel often controlled several villages. The smallest unit of khel contains 20 paiks. This smallest unit is controlled by an officer known as Bora.
Q5: What was the occupation of the Ahoms?
Ans : The early Ahom state had a simple economy. The primary occupation of the Ahoms was agriculture. They introduced new methods of wet rice cultivation. During wars almost most men served in the army. In normal situations, they had to indulge themselves in the construction of embankments, irrigation systems and other public works.
Q6: What is 'shifting agriculture'?
Ans : Trees and bushes in a forest area are first cut and burnt. The crop is sown in the ashes. When this land loses its fertility, another plot of land is cleared and planted in the same way. This is called shifting agriculture
Q7: Who are nomadic pastoralists?
Ans : Nomadic pastoralists are the people who travel long distances with their animals in search of fodder. They live on milk and other pastoral products. They also exchange wool, ghee etc. with settle communities for grain, cloth, utensils and other products.
Q8: Write a short note on the administrative system of the Gond kingdom.
Ans : The Gonds comprise the largest tribal group in India. The large Gond kingdom was divided intogarhs. A particular Gond clan controlled each garh. Each garh was further divided into units of 84 villages called chaurasi. The chaurasi was subdivided into barhots which were made up of 12 villages each.
Q9: Who is considered as one of the builders of the Ahom states and how?
Ans : Suhungmung is considered as one of the real builders of the Ahom state. He undertook the first population census of his kingdom and brought different classes of craftsmen from outside his state and established them in his kingdom.
Q10: Who were 'Gonds'?
Ans : The Gonds refer to the tribal people who lived in the vast forests of Gondwana. They were found in large numbers across the present-day states of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. In the fourteenth century Gonds were the ruling class in many parts of central India. During this time several small Gond kingdoms were consolidated by Gond kings to form a Gond dynasty. The Gond kingdom of Garha Katanga that had 70,000 villages is mentioned in Akbar Nama
Q11: Why did the Ahom clans break up?
Ans : The Ahom kingdom of medieval Assam was based on a type of forced labour system known as the Paik system. The paiks rendered direct service to the king. The paik rendering service was rotated. Each village had to send a number of paiks by rotation. People from heavily populated areas were shifted to less populated places, which led to the break up of the Ahom clans.
Q12: How did the emergence of large states change the nature of Gond society?
The nature of the Gond society changed with the emergence of large states.
Q13: How did Garha Katanga earn much of its wealth?
Ans : It earned much wealth by trapping and exporting wild elephants to other kingdoms.
Q14: What are Buranjis?
Ans : Buranjis are a class of historical chronicles written in the Ahom and Assamese languages.
Q15: Write a short note on Pastroralism.
Ans : Pastroralism or Pastoral farming is the branch of agriculture concerned with the raising of livestock. It is animal husbandry; the care, tending and use of animals such as camels, goats, cattle, yaks, sheep etc.
Q16: What are the different kind of nomads?
There are three types of Nomads.
Q17: Write a note on Garha Katanga.
Ans : Garha Katanga was a rich state. It earned much wealth by trapping and exporting wild elephants to other kingdoms. When the Mughals defeated the Gonds, they captured a huge booty of precious coins and elephants. They annexed part of the kingdom and granted the rest to Chandra Shah, an uncle of Bir Narain
Q18: Who were Adivasis?
Ans : The societies that didn't follow the rules laid down by Brahmins were called Tribals or Adivasis. They were the original/indigenous people living in an area. Their life styles were passed on from generation to generation. Many ruiling Indian dynasties draw their origin from these tribal groups. One such example is 'Rajputs'. Sultans & Mughals also belonged to tribal communities of Central Asia. The tribals were mainly hunter gatherers or agriculturists. They settled in hills/forests and other such difficult to reach places. Some tribals were Banjaras (Nomads) who moved from place to place
Q19: Give the characteristic features of India in early ages?
The Indian subcontinent is an area of great ecological and ethnic diversity. Its characteristic features in the early ages were various kinds of political features:-
Q20: What do you mean by transhumance?
Ans : Transhumance is a practise followed by pastoral nomads. It is a kind of mobility zone in high mountains associated with pastoralists. During Summer these communities take their flock of sheep and cattle to higher mountains for gazing. During Winter they come down to lower reaches of mountains where they grow grass.
Long Q & A :
Q1: How did the nomadic pastoralists make a living in Medieval India?
Ans : Nomadic pastoralists moved over long distances with their animals. They lived on milk and other pastoral products. They also exchanged wool, ghee etc. with settled agriculturists for grain, cloth, utensils and other products. They bought and sold these goods as they moved from one place to another, transporting them on their animals. Many pastoral tribes reared and sold animals such as cattle and horses, to the prosperous people. Different castes of petty peddlers also travelled from village to village. They made and sold wares such as ropes, reeds, straw matting and coarse sacks. Sometimes mendicants acted as wandering merchants. There were castes of entertainers who performed in different towns for earning a living.
Q2: Describe briefly the origin of Rajput.
Ans : There are several theories given about the origin of Rajputs. Some claimed their genealogy to Solar and Lunar families of Kshatriyas mentioned in the Mahabharata. Chandra Bardai in his 'Prithviraj Raso' mentioned that, the Chalukyas (Solankis), the Parmaras (Pawars), the Chahmanas (Chauhans)and the Pratiharas (Parihars) evolved from the yajna organized by Vasistha at Mount Abu. Some historians said that a number of classes from Scythians and Huns assimilated in the Indian Society. Some chief clans of South India like Kalachuris, Chandelas & Gaharwaras were related with Gond, Rathore & Bundella respectively.