Who are Hakki Pikkis?

The Hakki Pikki tribe is a nomadic tribe that resides in several states in western and southern India. They are especially concentrated in forest areas where they practice their traditional occupation of bird catching and hunting. The tribe’s name itself reveals a lot about their history and identity. “Hakki” means “bird” in Kannada, while “Pikki” means “catchers”. This highlights the tribe’s close association with birds and their expertise in capturing them.

Population and Distribution

The 2011 census figures show that the Hakki Pikki tribe’s population in Karnataka was around 12,000. The tribe is divided into four clans, namely Gujaratia, Panwar, Kaliwala, and Mewaras. The tribe originated in the bordering districts of Gujarat and Rajasthan, but over time, they have migrated to different parts of India, where they continue to face social, economic, and political marginalization.

Traditional Occupation and Livelihood

The tribe’s traditional occupation of bird catching and hunting has become increasingly difficult due to the strict implementation of wildlife protection laws. Consequently, the tribe members have had to shift to alternative livelihood options. Many of them now earn their livelihood by selling spices, herbal oils, and plastic flowers in local temple fairs. While this has helped them survive, it has also led to their cultural traditions fading away.

Marriage and Social Structure

The Hakki Pikki tribe members usually get married at the age of 18 for women and 22 for men. Cross-cousin marriages are the preferred type of marriage within the tribe, where they marry their mother’s brother’s daughter or father’s sister’s daughter. This tradition is believed to strengthen family bonds and promote social cohesion within the community.

Organizations Working for the Tribe

Several organizations have been working for the betterment of the Hakki Pikki tribe in Karnataka. One such organization is the Karnataka Adivasi Budakattu Hakki Pikki Jananga. This organization aims to provide education, healthcare, and other basic facilities to the tribe members and work towards their social, economic, and political empowerment.

Selling Ayurvedic Products in Africa

The tribe members also sell Ayurvedic products in Africa, indicating their entrepreneurial spirit and willingness to explore new markets. This highlights the need to provide them with opportunities to enhance their skills and create sustainable livelihood options for their future.




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