As one of its significant programmes, the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) has, for sometime, focussed on the lifestyle studies addressing the fundamental questions concerning Man's relationship with Cosmic Order, his perceptions of Space and Time through the ages and across cultures, and his experience of Nature and how far he has evolved a symbiotic 'existential connection' with it. The IGNCA has now launched forth a series of 'Pilot Studies' which, through specific community studies, seeks to explore culture-ecology interrelationship in its myriad manifestations. Lifestyles and Ecology is the series' first thematic monograph.
With meticulous analyses of the lifestyles of the Himalayan pastoral nomads, the Lakshadweep islanders, and Kanyakumari's Mukkuvar fisherfolk, among others, the studies here show how these communities follow the spirit of the natural world: not in imitation, but in continuation of the primal vision. Delineating, thus, variegated cultural paradigms of these communities, with details like, for instance, of their belief systems, myths, rituals, folklore, songs, and their knowledge of cosmology as well as natural phenomena, the authors underscore the inseparability of nature and culture in the lived experience of traditional societies the world over. The book also carries a brilliant overview of ecology vis-a-vis traditional resource management systems.
The authors are ecologists, anthropologists and folklorists of wide repute.