In Rāmāyaṇa (Ramayana), Mahābhārata (Mahabharata) and Purāṇa (Purana; Mythological Scripture), we have the mention of the Ṛkṣa(Riksha) tribe, beside the other tribes such as the Vānara (Vanara). Sometimes the Ṛkṣa tribe is mentioned as identical with the Vānara tribe.
In Purāṇa and Mahābhārata, it is said that Mṛgamandā (Mrigamanda), one of the daughters of Krodhā(Krodha) or Krodhavaśā (Krodhavasa), wife of Kaśyapa(Kasyapa) Prajāpati (Prajapati), was the mother of the Ṛkṣa tribe. The nine daughters of Krodhavaśā, including Mṛgamandā, were the wives of Pulaha Prajāpati (Prajapati; Ruler of the people). So the Ṛkṣa people, the the Vānara, are also the descendants of Pulaha Prajāpati.
The dictionary meaning of the term Ṛkṣa is ‘a bear’. In Rāmāyaṇa and the Purāṇa, we get the name of Jāmvavān(Jamvavan) as the leader of the Ṛkṣa tribe. But his brother Dhūmra (Dhumra) is mentioned as a Vānara chieftain. It is to be noted that these Vānaras and Ṛkṣas were the inhabitants of the Ṛkṣaparvata (Mountain Riksha), located near the mountain Vindhya, on the bank of the river Narmadā(Narmada). In Dvāpara(Dwapara) Yuga, Kṛṣṇa (Krishna), while searching for the syamantaka maṇi, reached this Ṛkṣaparvata, where he encountered Jāmvavān. These small bits of information, taken together, suggest that the Ṛkṣa people were some aboriginal, ancient tribe living in Ṛkṣaparvata, and they had very close connections with the Vānara tribe. It is further to be considered whether these people used the totem of the bear.