Sacred Groves and Stewardship

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Date added: 17-09-20


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India is a land of varied cultures, religions and people. Unity in diversity is the mantra of the land. Among all these diversifications is found an impressive population of tribal people. These tribal people are believed to be the true inhabitants of India. Almost all the states in India have significant presence of tribal people who constitute impressive portion of the population of the state. The tribal people in India have their own cultures and traditions which are in true agreement with the Indian civilizations and cultures. Population of the tribes in India The population of the tribal people in India crosses 20 million. Each tribe is distinguished from another. The tribal people in India are different not only in terms of physical appearance but also in terms of their cultural identity. The large variety of tribal clans is found in the North East regions of India. States like Assam, Tripura, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh have deep concentration of tribal people. Tribal Cultures in North East Each of the tribes found in the North East regions of the country are marked for their unique and distinguished cultures. They have their own rituals, beliefs, festivals, dances, songs and ways of living. But one thing which is common in all the tribal people is that their cultures display a lot of power, joy, vibrancy and enthusiasm. Their festivals are specifically marked for their hospitality and a strong bond of love for each other. Tribal cultures in Orissa Orissa is one of the Indian states which have impressive number of tribal clans. The tribal culture in Orissa has adapted itself to many of the Hindu traditions prevalent in the region. The true colors of the tribal cultures in Orissa can be seen on occasions like birth, death, marriage and festivals. They make the occasion vibrant with their unique performance of dance and music. Introduction: India has traditionally been the home of different cultures and people. Unity in diversity is one of the most prominent features in the people of India. Among the diversified population a significant portion is comprised of the tribal people, the original inhabitants' of the land. The tribal culture of India and their traditions and practices pervade almost all of the aspects of Indian culture and civilization. The different tribes in India: In India one can find almost a new dialect, culture, and different people after moving 50 kms in any direction. Likewise the tribal population is also very much varied and diversified. The present tribal population of India is approximately 20 million all together. The tribes each one of them is a distinctive community either migrated from another place or the original inhabitants of the land. These different tribes still inhibits the different parts especially the seven states of the North Eastern part, and almost each and every corner of the land. The distinctiveness of the tribes lies their rituals, cultures, beliefs and above all the harmony in which they survive in unison with nature. Their living perfectly depicts a well balanced give and take procedure that in no way disrupts the ecological balance. Tribal Cultures of India: One has to love tribal culture in India to understand the uniqueness of their culture. Warm hospitality, simple ways of living and sincere judgment of the opinions are some of the traits that mark the tribal cultures of India. Their custom depicts their belief in simplicity. Most of the tribes in India have their own gods and goddesses that reflects the dependence of Tribal people on nature. Except for the few most of the tribes in India is sociable, hospitable, and fun loving along with strong community bonds. Some of the tribes shares patriarchal cultural ties and some of the tribal societies are women oriented. They have their own festivals and celebrations. The tribal people are clinging to their identity despite of the external influences that threatened the tribal culture especially after their post independence turbulent period. ****************************************************************************** India has habitually upheld its tradition and has sufficed as a home to umpteen cultures and people. `Unity in diversity` is one of the most spectacular features amongst the population of India. Among the diversified population, a significant portion comprises the tribal people, the aboriginal inhabitants of the primeval land. Tribal culture of India, their traditions and practices interpenetrate almost all the aspects of Indian culture and civilisation. The different tribes in India if ever counted can move up to a mind boggling number, with all their ethnicities and impressions. In India almost a new dialect can be witnessed each new day; culture and diversification amongst the tribals can also be admired from any land direction. The tribal population is also pretty much varied and diversified. Quite manifestly, Indian tribal culture should assimilate and mirror a definitive section of the society. The current tribal population of India is approximately 20 million altogether. Each of the tribes is a distinctive community, either migrated from a different place or the original denizens of the land. These various tribes still inhabit the different parts, especially the seven states of the North-eastern region and almost each and every nook of the country. The speciality of the Indian tribes lies in their customs, cultures, beliefs and, in particular, the harmony in which they survive in unanimity with nature. Tribal living perfectly portrays a well-balanced environment, a procedure that in no way upsets the ecological balance. In order to entirely comprehend tribal culture in India, to understand the uniqueness of their culture, a detailed study is very much required by travelling within the society. Affectionate hospitality, undemanding ways of living and earnest judgement of the opinions are some of the characteristic traits that earmark tribal cultures of India. Their customs mirror their confidence in simplicity. Most of the tribes in India possess their own gods and goddesses, reflecting the dependence of tribal people on nature and animism. Except for the few, most of the tribes in India are affable, hospitable and fun-loving, coupled with potent community bonding. Some of the tribes share patriarchal cultural ties and some of the tribal societies are inclined towards women-oriented issues. They thus have their own festivals and celebrations. Indigenous Cultures The indigenous and ethnic people of the world have learnt to live in most hostile environmental condition in this universe. The most interesting feature associated with these indigenous and ethnic has been found that, they live in localities which are immensely rich in biodiversity. It is estimated that about 300 million indigenous people are living in world, out of which nearly half i. e. 150 million are living in Asia, about 30 million of which are living in Central and South America and a significant number of them are living in Australia, Europe, New Zealand, Africa, and Soviet Union. A list of some of these prominent ethnic and indigenous people is presented in table -1. These ethnic and indigenous people have played a vital role in conservation of environmental management and development process as they posse’s traditional knowledge which has been useful in Eco-restoration. It has been noticed that these people know how to live with harmony in nature. Indigenous Tribes in India In India, 68 million people belonging to 227 ethnic group and comprising of 573 tribal communities derived from six racial stocks namely - Negroid, Proto- Australoid, Mongoloid, Mediterranean, West Breachy and Nordic exists in different part of the country (Pushpgandhan 1). These ethnic people mostly the indigenous tribals live close in the vicinity of forests and have managed and conserved the biodiversity of their localities since long time. These tribals take shelter from forest and utilize wild edible plants both raw and cooked. The flower and fruits are generally eaten raw where as tubers, leaves and seeds are cooked. Tribals utilize forest produce, forest timber and fuelwood. These tribals are living in forest since ages and have developed a kind of affinity with forests. India is a country with large ethnic society and has immense wealth due to which it is rich in biodiversity. There are 45,000 species of wild plant out of which 9,500 species are ethnobotanically important species. Of these 7,500 species are in medicinal use for indigenous health practices. About 3,900 plant species are used by tribals as food (out of which 145 species comprise of root and tubers, 521 species of leafy vegetables, 101 species of bulbs and flowers, 647 species of fruits), 525 species are used for fiber, 400 species are used as fodder, 300 species are used in preparation and extraction of chemicals which are used as naturally occurring insecticides and pesticides, 300 species are used for extraction of gum, resins, dyes and perfume. Indigenous Culture and Religions In addition to these a number of plants are used as timber, building material and about 700 species are culturally important from moral, cultural, religious, aesthetic and social point of view of. Indian sub-contient is one of the twelve mega-centres of biodiversity representing two of the eighteen hotspots of biological diversity one occurring in Western Ghat and another in North- Eastern Himalaya (Zeven and Zhikovsky 3). Floristically 141 endemic genera belonging to over 47 families of higher plant occur in India In India 11. 95% of the world’s biodiversity has been conserved by ethnic people in many ways(Arora,4). Botanical survey of India has reported 46,214 plant species are found in India of global flora of these 17,500 represents flowering plants. Thirty seven of these are endemic and found in North -East of India.
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