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Forest Tribes of Orissa

Lifestyle and Social Conditions of Selected Orissan Tribes

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 below

About This Book

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.

  • Foreword By :
  • Binding: : Hardbound
  • 13 Digit ISBN : 9788124601891
  • 10 Digit ISBN : 8124601895
  • Edition : 1st edition
  • Year : 2002
  • Pages : xxvii, 433 p.
  • Bibliographic Details : 4 Maps; 19 Figs; 19 Tables; 40 Col. plates; Appendix; Glossary; Bibliography; Index
  • Size : 23 cm
  • Weight (approx.) : 750 gm

List of Figures & Maps  
List of Tables  
List of Visuals   
Map 1: India -- Position of Orissa in India 
Map 2: Orissa -- Bissam Katak Tahasil, District Rayagada

1. Context, Objectives and Research Approach 

Geographical Setting 
Indigenous Knowledge and Development 
Research Objectives 
Methods and Techniques of Data Collection 
Previous Studies 

2. The Dongaria Kondh Community 

Village Setting and Arrangement of Houses

Settlement Pattern -- Oral History of Dongaria Settlement -- Selection of a Site -- Villages of the Research Area -- Change of a Settlement -- Structure of a Settlement -- Location of Settlements -- Housing Pattern and Space Arrangements -- Building New Houses -- Construction of Sadar Kudi or Padari Kudi

Social Organisation and Lineage 

Family -- Other Social Groups

Political Organisation

Jani Punja -- Pujari Punja -- Mandal Punja -- Bisimajhi Punja -- Barika

Stratification of Religious Services 
Life Cycle Rituals 

Birth Rites -- Marriage (Hedi) : Arranged Types -- Divorce (Pihija Turteyu) -- Death Rites (Sudhi or Ambmata Rupina) -- Destiny of the Spirit after Death

Inter-Ethnic Relationship 

3. The Dongaria Economy 

Economic Organisation 
Major Sources of Livelihood 
Fishing (minka beta) and Hunting (beta) 
Food Gathering, Drinks and Narcotics 
Livestock Management 

Pig (Paji) -- Goat (Ada) -- Cattle (Kading) -- Buffalo (Kadru) -- Fowl (Kayu) -- Pigeon (Parang)

4. Transmission and Specialists of Knowledge 

Practical Knowledge 

Learning at Home -- Learning in the Forest

Knowledge, Skill and Status of Instrumentalists 
Becoming a Shaman 
Becoming a Medicine Man or Disari

Case Study I -- Case Study II -- Case Study III -- Case Study IV

A Group Discussion with Elder Priests 

Test of Gambling (Juakhela) -- Test of Walking on a Rope -- Test of Literacy -- Collection of Medicine from Pond Bed -- The Act of Transformation into a Tiger (Kai Kdani) -- Knowledge and its Specialists) -- Gender and Wisdom

Hierarchy of Specialists 

Disari -- Sisa -- Peju -- Bahuki -- Pujuni -- Gurmeni -- Bajayun or Bajneyun -- Budhi -- Bateri

5. Oral Traditions and Cosmology 

Cosmogonical Myths 
The Dongaria Myth of Origin, Phase II : Evolution of Religious Beliefs and Practices
Dongaria Myth of Origin, Phase III : Duku-Dumbe Katha (Duku Dumbe?s Tale)
The Myth of Niyamraja, Niyamgiri, and Naktivali 
Water Resources and Myths Related to Streams 
Myths Relating to Streams
Learning from Oral Tradition

Forms of Oral Lore -- Narratives Techniques 

6. Knowledge of the Supernatural Environment 

The Dongaria View of the Supernatural 
Divine Environmental Forces 

Horu Penu -- Danda Penu -- Lada Penu -- Niyamraja Penu -- Kaman Penu -- Dharani Penu -- Gangi Penu -- Sandi Penu -- Mardi Penu -- Katei Penu -- Giri Buleni Penu -- Jaura Penu or Jamarani

Household and Village Deities 

Ilu Penu -- Holu Penu -- Handanikudi Penu or SIta Penu -- Kandadoe Penu -- Tudiaa Penu -- Village Deities

Other Deities 
Deities Associated with Shifting Cultivation
Worship of Other Important Deities 

Gangi Penu -- Kidi Penu -- Kadiyu Penu

7. Knowledge of the Natural Environment 

Social Dimensions of a Hill 
Physical Configuration of Hills and their Management  
Perception and Classification of Forests 

Horu : Hill -- Kaman : Forest of Large Trees -- Jada : Forest of Small Trees -- Hada : Forest of Bushes -- Patra or Dasak : Plateaus -- Trunjeli Muanri : Restricted Forest -- Mahane Dangu : Forest with Cremation Grounds -- Nellu and Neta : Swiddens

Perception, Classification and Social Aspects of Plants and Trees

Indigenous Rationale to Perceive Trees and their Parts -- The Social Significance of Plants and Trees -- Caryota Urens (Mada Mara) -- Sargi Mara : Shorea Robusta Gaertn. F. -- Bela Mara : Aegle Marmelos (L.) Corr. -- Nima Mara : Azadirachta Indica A. Juss. -- Made Mara : Lannea Coromandelica (Houtt.) Merr. --  Leka Mara : Bombax Malabaricum DC. --  Kendu Mara : Diospyros Melanoxylon Roxb. -- Bundeni Mara :  Cassia Fistula L. -- Dhaman Mara : Grewia Tiliaefolia Vahl. -- Bija Mara : Pterocarpus Marsupium Roxb. -- Mading : Bambusa Species -- Heperi : Thysanolaena Maxima O. Ktze. Syn : Thysanolaena Agrostis Nees. -- Wika : Themeda Arundinacea -- Paeri : Bauhinia Vahlii Wt. & Arn.

Perception of Life of Natural Objects 
Classification of Soil 

8. Knowledge of Cultivation  

Shifting Cultivation 

Basic Features of Shifting Cultivation -- Stages of Shifting Cultivation

Traditional Distribution of the Hill Lands and Land Classification

Ploting of Hill Lands and Denominations -- Traditional Land Distribution Pattern -- Land Classification

Swidden Products, Agricultural Practices and Protection Measures

Pigeon-Pea (Cajanus Cajan L. Millsp.) : Kaanga -- Cow Pea (Vigna Indica L.) : Jhudunga Cow Pea : (Vigna Species) : Katinga -- Castor (Ricinus Communis L.) : Kabang -- Yam (Dioscorea L.) : Uhakuna -- Sweet Potato (Ipomoea Batatas (L.) Lam.) : Ranikuna -- Tapioca (Manihot Esculenta Cranz) : Leka Kuna -- Bird Chilli (Capsicum Frutescens L.) : Ichun Adna

Mid-Term Agricultural Practices 

Huda Rena : Weeding -- Transplanting -- Harvesting -- Fallow Period -- Safeguarding the Crops and Trees

Horticulture and other Important Crops 

Bada : Orchards -- Important Horticultural Plants -- Swidden Vs. Horticulture 

9. Knowledge of Forest Management

Utilisation of Kaman, Jada and Hada 
Religious Aspects of Forest Management 
The Forest as a Resource 
Aspects of Indigenous Forest Conservation 
Conservation as a Tradition

10. Dongaria and Tribal Natural Resources Ownership Claims : An Outlook on Indian Forest Policy

The Forest Around the Dongaria Habitat 
Interference in Forests 
Problems with Minor Forest Produce (MFP)/Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFP)
Conservation Strategy and Joint Forest Management (JFM)
Forest Policy in India with a Glance at Orissa's Forest Culture

Appendix: List of Botanical Names 

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