Rajasthan serves as a home to many tribal communities. There are some communities which are medieval in their origin and there are a few more who exist since the Indus Valley civilization.
The history of these tribes dates back to around 1400 BC. At that time the Bhil and Mina tribes roamed and ruled the land. The Aryan invasion, represented by horse drawn chariots and superior bows and arrows, seems to have tyrannized tribal migration to the south and the east. Pushed into the natural hideout forests and the ancient and craggy Aravalli ranges, the Bhil and the Mina tribes survived more easily. The northern, nomadic ethnic intrusions continued into Rajasthan. They were respected by the Sakas, Kusanas, Abhiras, Hunas and others. Quite a large number of these invaders are now covered by the blanket term Rajput whose royal lineage stood upon the ruins of the Gurjara (Pratihara Empire). All too naturally, the warrior- invaders fitted the Aryan material caste of Kshatriyas which in time came to be divided into 36 Rajputs clans.
The camouflaged existence of Rajasthan's original inhabitants certainly isolated them from the main stream, keeping them unaware of the changes. Today, they may be considered a backward people but that does not, in anyway, call for any pejorative interpretations of their primitivism.
The Banswara district forms eastern part of the region known as Vagad or Vagwar.
The district was formerly a princely state ruled by the Maharavals. It is said that a Bhil ruler Bansia ruled over it and Banswara was named after his name. Bansia was defeated and killed by Jagmal Singh who became the first Maharaval of the princely state. It is also named so because of the bamboos (Bans) which were found in abundance in the forests.
In 1913 some bhils revolted under the headship of a social reformer Govindgiri and Punja which was suppressed in November, 1913. Hundreds of Bhils were shot dead at the Mangarh hillock where they were holding a peaceful meeting. The event is also known as the Mini Jalianwala Bagh massacre. The place has become sacred and is better known as the Mangarh Dham.
With the merger of the princely states in the Union of India, the Banswara State and Kushalgarh chiefship got merged in the Greater Rajasthan in 1949 and Banswara was carved out as a separate district by merging these principalities.
The district is predominantly inhabited by tribals mainly Bhils, Bhil Meenas, Damor, Charpotas, Ninamas, etc.
The main occupation of the people, specially of tribals, is agriculture. The tribals live in a small one-room houses, known as "tapra", which lie scattered all over the area. The other major castes are Patels, Rajputs, Brahmans, Mahajans, and Muslims. The dialect spoken in the district is Wagri, a mixture of Gujrati and Mewari.