Minas are the most widely spread and second largest tribal group in the state of Rajasthan
, after Bhils
. Historians suggest that they could have been the original inhabitants of the Indus Valley Civilization
. References about Minas found in Vedas
and the Mahabharata
points to their early existence in this part of the world.
Minas settled in Shekhawati and eastern Rajasthan after being driven out of their original settlements by the Kachhawah
Rajputs. Their downfall became complete after the British Government declared them a 'Criminal tribe' in 1924, mainly to prevent them from trying to regain their territory from the Rajputs.
The name Minas is derived from 'meení or fish.
Minas worship Lord Krishna, Lord Ram, Lord Hanuman and Sheetla Mata, the goddess of small pox. They celebrated the annual Chakshu Fair, at Chakshu, near Jaipur, amid much pomp and splendor.
Teej, Gangaur, Dussehra, Holi and Diwali are the major festivals celebrated by the Minas tribe.