Tribal Tourism Series
On this page, you can find every article on our Tribal Tourism Series. Tribal tourism is a controversial topic – the disruptive, as well as beneficial impacts it can have, are being discussed amongst many tourism professionals, as well as travellers.
Our dedicated team members, Celina Sczyslo and Mahendra Sherkhane, came up with the idea of starting this series. We have been focused on the Karenni tribes in Huay Pu Keng, supporting them in their transformation to community-based tourism. However, in the future we are planning to support also other tribes around the world that can benefit from our work. On that note, we will introduce you to several tribes and share their stories and experiences with tourism – some examples of good and bad practices and tourist behaviour, as well as some organizations and sources where you can inform yourself further. We hope you will learn and get inspired to support sustainable and right practices within tribal tourism practices with us!
Hover over a picture to see what the article is about and click on the title to access it!
Do you have any ideas, questions or thoughts you would like to learn about or share during this series? Please let us know here.
It wasn’t until the last century that the Torajans opened up from isolation and the world learned about their interesting traditions. Nowadays they share some of these traditions with tourists!
The Ainu have long lived close to nature, relying their livelihood on fishing, hunting and gathering. They have also developed a distinctive culture utilizing natural resources, such as wood carving and embroidery with unique patterns.
By the end of the 19th century, the Komi had become one of the world’s largest reindeer herding communities, borrowing Nenet (reindeer herders in Russia’s Arctic) methods while making their own adaptations.
The main activity of the Sami is herding reindeer. Next to that, they fish, farm livestock and hunt for a living, but now they also earn money in tourism. (Northern Norway, n.d.). Many of them still live in their traditional settlements.
The Inca empire used to be one of the biggest empires in the entire world with 12 million people, before the Spanish conquistadors captured the Inca emperor in 1532. Although conquered by the Spanish a long time ago, there are still remains of the Inca civilization today.
This indigenous group calls the south-eastern Amazon Basin in Brazil their home, and they have been fighting for its protection for generations.
Located at the upper Xingu River, the tribal communities live in isolated villages scattered across the reserve.
On the slopes of the Sierra Nevada (Colombia) the Arhuaco (Ika), Kogi, Kankuamo and Wiwa tribes live. Their ancestors are from the Tairona civilization. According to these tribes, the Sierra Nevada is the heart of the world.
Panama has seven different indigenous groups within its country, each with their own traditions and characteristics. These tribes are the Bribri, Naso, Bugle, Ngabe, Wounaan, Kuna and Embera.
The Bribri are indigenous people from Costa Rica. They live in the mountains along the Caribbean Coast in Talamanca. The tribe lives in small communities of single family houses spread over the farmland.
The Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head are still inhabiting Martha’s Vineyard island in Massachusetts (USA). The island is known by the tribe under the name Noepe. Only after elections, in 1998 the town which was formerly incorporated as Gay Head, got back its originally used name ‘Aquinnah’.
Being closely related to the Maasai, they are one of several tribes living in Samburu district, in Northern Kenya. Their semi-nomadic lifestyle centres on their cattle, which require them to frequently relocate every 5 to 6 weeks to find new grazing land.
Analysis of maternal genetic lineage say that Aborigines arrived in Australia shortly 50,000 years ago as human populations moved from Africa around 55,000 years ago. They were nomadic people, hunter-gatherers, did not domesticate animals and only had a few tools to hunt.
Long before Columbus arrived in 1502, they called the Costa Rican territory their home, where they lived in many small villages. Originally from Mexico, the Chorotega people settled in Southern Nicaragua and in Costa Rica, to escape warfare in their place of origin.
Because of their former unique lifestyle, this tribe is also known as sea gypsies or nomads, and referred to as Chao Lay: ‘sea people of Thailand’. Travelling around the islands of the Andaman sea between Myanmar and Northern Thailand, they used to spend most of their lives on Kabangs.
You may have never heard of some tribes because they are living in far-off, remote corners of the world with little to no contact to the outside world. The Kazakhs of Mongolia, who were originally from a part of Kazakhstan that now belongs to Mongolia, count as one of them.
With over 50 ethnic groups residing within its territory, Vietnam is a country of great cultural and linguistic diversity. Ethnic minorities in Vietnam are mostly hill tribes inhabiting mountainous regions with high altitudes.
The Taiwanese government developed various supportive structures and policies that boost the economy and quality of life of tribal communities. While also introducing new tourist attractions, the Cinsibu Atayal tribe experienced great positive impact from those developments.