These slingers from the mountain and forest tribes carry small leather slings, just as easily used for hunting game as for hunting men. For self-defense in melee, they carry simply clubs.
Rajya, the chiefs of the forest and mountain tribes under your rule send these men to bolster your ranks, and thus pay their tribute to the Chakravartin! Lightly armed and light of feet, they can screen the flanks of your army and harass the enemy infantry, chariots and elephants. Brought up in the harsh jungles and forested mountains of your realm, these are hardy men, used to the travails of war, but they are not professional soldiers, and in the end their loyalty lies with their village elders and Gramanis, and not with the Emperor, Viceroy or Pradeshika.
These slingers from the mountain and forest tribes carry small leather slings, just as easily used for hunting game as for hunting men. They carry no shields, as they do not intend to close with their prey until already downed. Nonetheless, they carry simple wooden clubs, useful for disposing their injured prey, but which can also be used for self-defence in melee, should the situation call for it. As speed and flexibility is a key part of their battlefield tactics, they wear no cumbersome armour, and their dress is the same simple clothes that they would wear on the hunt or out foraging. The tribal warriors come from a diverse range of peoples, ranging from relatively civilized semi-autonomous republics, to savage jungle men, and this is reflected in the diversity of their clothes and hairstyles. Thus, while some of them are nigh indistinguishable from city dwellers, others wear clothes fashioned from the plants of the jungle, and adorn themselves with bones, teeth and other trophies from their hunt.
Historically, auxiliary troops from the forest tribes was one of the five main categories of troops listed by Kautilya in his Arthashastra. According to Kautilya, the troops levied from subservient tribes could not be relied on to hold the main battle line, but should instead be used for skirmishing and harassing the enemy, as well as for hunting down routing troops. The exact nature of these troops and their equipment is not specified, but it seems plausible that they would use the same implements in war as they used in their daily life for hunting, fishing and foraging. Ancient Indian art have several examples of tribal warriors, often shown wearing simple loincloths, or even skirts made out of plants, and sometimes armed with simple spears or bows. While not directly subjects of the emperor, a substantial part of ancient Mauryan armies would probably have consisted of auxiliary troops levied from allied kingdoms and subservient tribes, and used to bolster the size of the army. Just as in the Persian Empire, on which many Mauryan institutions were modelled, this would lead to armies of copious sizes compared to what most Mediterranean kingdoms could muster in that era, but the quality of such armies were sometimes doubtful.