Northeast India is the homeland of a large number of tribes. There are 145 tribal communitiesof which 78 are large each with a population ofmore than 5000. They constitute around 12 percent of the total tribal population of India and25.81 per cent of the total population of NorthEast India.In so far as the distribution of the tribes inNorth East India is concerned, it may be statedthat some tribes are widely spread out while othersare concentrated into relatively small territory(Taher, 1977: 16-26). Spatially many of these tribal communities cut across the administrative boundaries and are found in a contiguous tract spreading over two or more states. The numerous culturally or politically autonomous tribal groups live in a situation of contact and communication with their respective neighboring populations.
In the seven states of North East India, thepercentages of tribal population variessignificantly. In the states of Assam, Manipurand Tripura, the percentages of tribal populationto the total population of the respective statesare 12.82%, 34.41% and 30.95%. In ArunachalPradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland thepercentages of tribal population to the totalpopulation of the respective states are quite high.In Mizoram, the tribals constitute 94.75 per cent of the total state’s population.