The Institute of Research and Documentation of Indigenous Studies, IRDIS, is a non-profit, civil society organization registered under the Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860 in February 2011. IRDIS is committed to carrying out research and documentation projects on the diverse ethnic communities/tribes in the State of Assam and in collaboration with the ethnic communities of the country and around the world on issues which will directly impact their lives and empower them. IRDIS’ research projects, which are multi and interdisciplinary, collaborative and comparative and which focus on a wide area of work from indigenous cultures, socio-economic studies, health, education, environment, indigenous rights and privileges, indigenous judiciary systems and governance, population numbers, identity assertions and self-determination to skill development, would aims at benefiting and empowering the communities, most of whom are underprivileged and living in remote habitations.The documentation initiatives focus primarily on preserving and documenting their rich traditional and indigenous knowledge, indigenous cultures and languages.The myriad ethnic communities and groups that belong to the State of Assam with their indigenous cultures, dialects, faiths, traditional practices and knowledge, dance forms and social mores exist in harmony depicting their rich composite culture as we drift to a globalised world. It is at this juncture when the nations of the world are looking at globalisation, that IRDIS’ focus on its initiatives in preserving the rich heritage of the ethnic people will go a long way in preserving their identity.


Indigenous Studies itself is multidisciplinary in nature.

Research and documentation initiatives at IRDIS would be taken up within the ethnic communities over a wide spectrum such as:

  • Culture including Indigenous traditions, religion and language
  • Socio-economic Studies, Poverty & Inequality
  • Health with special focus on women and children
  • Education with special focus on children and women folk
  • Environment and agriculture and the traditional ways of conservation
  • Indigenous/Traditional Knowledge
  • Traditional Art forms such as indigenous music, dance forms, traditional crafts, weaves and architecture
  • Traditional forms of governance, tribal laws and rights
  • Policies, acts and governance of ethnic communities. Relations with governments and mainstream societies
  • Population numbers

To enable the Institute to work over such a wide area within the communities, IRDIS will continue to seek the advice and the guidance of the ethnic community members especially the community elders, the youth and its womenfolk. IRDIS also looks forward to the active participation of students and research scholars from not just Sociology, Anthropology, Political science and History but also from other disciplines such as Science and technology, Linguistics, Architecture, Geography, Legal studies, Psychology and Medicine so as to ensure a comprehensive research effort which will go a long way in benefiting and empowering the various ethnic communities. This makes IRDIS a center of interdisciplinary studies.

The members of IRDIS work in partnership with the communities in the rural and urban areas to design and implement research and documentation projects beneficial to the communities and also for the preservation of their traditional and indigenous culture and knowledge.

The outcome of the research projects as well as the knowledge resource that will be evolved from the research and documentation work will be stored in a database with the purpose of developing a modern Data Archive on Indigenous Studies based on the latest technology.