In the management of renewable resources, forests have undeniably a vital role and today, as never before, their conservation is an urgency. In view of this dire necessity, the series Man and Forest tries to highlight the relevance of indigenous knowledge of various South Asian tribal communities in the sustainable management of forests/local resources -- more specially against the growing challenges of economic development vis-a-vis environmental hazards and a rapidly declining resource base.
A scientific inquiry into indigenous knowledge is an effort to discover/ rediscover the tribals' traditional modes of production and conservation. For them it is the only source to cope with the problems of modernity affecting their lives and precarious environments.
Forest Tribes of Orissa: The Dongaria Kondh is the second book in the series of monographs of Man and Forest, and the first focussing on a tribal community today caught in the transition between an autochthonous lifestyle and fragments of modernity. The authors attempt to document the Dongaria's traditional knowledge of their natural environment; how they classify trees, plants, hills, forests, crops, and soils; and how so far they have been managing their forests. Also meticulously delineated, as a backdrop to this study, are the Dongaria's geographical landscape, economy, socio-political organisation, oral traditions, belief cosmos, and other relevant socio-cultural aspects.
The present book is, as most of the volumes in the series, the outcome of nearly ten-year's research venture involving an interdisciplinary, intercultural team of sociologists, ethnobotanists, social anthropologists and other social scientists.