Last Updated 02 Mar 2020

Tribes in India

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India's tribal village first to get rights over its forests [pic] 24 December 2009 A tribal village in western India has been granted the right to cultivate and manage its forest, as per the provisions of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest-Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act 2006. For over a decade the villagers have fought against the commercialisation of their land.

As climate change negotiators try and figure out how to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, a tribal hamlet in Maharashtra has shown the way [pic]The Gonds in Gadchiroli in Maharashtra take pains to protect forest resources/ Photo credit: The Hindu This month the adivasi or tribal village of Mendha (or Mendha Lekha), in Gadchiroli district, Maharashtra, became the first village in the country to get a legal record of rights to manage its forests, water and forest produce under the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest-Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act 2006.

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. In Mendha, it is the community as a whole, not individuals, that is invested with the rights. The gram sabha, which includes one member of each of the 480 Gond adivasi families, makes all the decisions by consensus. The most important decision it takes is regarding custodianship of the 1,800 hectares of surrounding forest. The village protested the felling of trees for commercial use way back in 1999.

It stopped ‘outsiders’ from entering its territory, laid down explicit forest conservation rules for its own people, and insisted that no government from Delhi or Mumbai could tell it how to use its own resources. Mendha has another first to its credit. When the Biodiversity Act came into being, it became the first village to have a biodiversity register – a record of the biodiversity of its forests. Every household has a biogas stove. The gram sabha is now considering ways in which it can turn minor forest produce like honey, amla and tendu, collected by the villagers, into a source of income generation. We are thinking of setting up self-help groups and cottage processing units in households,” says Devaji Topha, a former sarpanch, who played a crucial role in mobilising the villagers. The manner in which the village has managed its affairs over the years lends credence to the belief that forest-dwelling communities, given the right inputs, can best manage their environment as they depend on it for their long-term survival.

The villagers may never have heard of the cantankerous negotiations on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) going on in the far away UN summit on climate change in Copenhagen.But they don’t need to. As Devaji Topha says: “Nature guides us,” not world leaders. Several other villages are waiting to follow Mendha’s example and get their legal record of rights. However, each community has to file for its rights under the Act, and many tribal communities are ignorant of the process, which requires a lot of paperwork and eliciting of records held by government. The deadline for registration is December 31, 2009; activists and tribals are demanding more time to complete the process Source : Infochange Tribal Religions of India Doctrines |  |Contemporary tribal communities have a great variety and complexity in their religious beliefs and practices. However, | | | |they share one characteristic which binds them "by common understanding as to the ultimate nature and purpose of life" | | | |(Redfield, R, The Primitive World and Its Transformations, Ithaca, Ill.

, 1953, p. 12). This ultimate purpose is "the | | | |creation of a meaningful order through imitation of the celestial model, transmitted by myths and celebrated in rituals"| | | |(Kitagawa, Joseph M. Religions of the East, Philadelphia, 1968). | | | |The Naga tribes live in the mountains of north-east India. They believe in an earthquake god who created the earth out | | | |of the waters by earthquakes. The sons of this god now watch over mankind and punish those who do wrong.

Other deities | | | |without name or form live in the mountains, forests, rivers, and lakes, who need placating as they are hostile to men. | | | |Omens and dreams are generally believed in.Witchcraft is practised and some men are thought to be able to turn into | | | |tigers. Some groups sacrifice a dog or pig when making a wood carving, otherwise the carver will become ill or die. This| | | |most likely belongs to the older tradition of only allowing a man to carve a human figure in a morung (bachelors' | | | |dormitory) when he had taken a head. Head-hunting was an important practice, for fertile crops depended on a sprinkling | | | |of blood from a stranger over the fields.Reincarnation is believed by many Naga tribes, and the dead are buried in the | | | |direction from which their ancestors have come.

The doctrine of genna (tabu) involves whole social groups - villages, | | | |clans, households, age groups, sex groups, in a series of rituals that may be regularly practised or be the result of an| | | |emergency such as an earthquake. | | | |The Bhil are one of the largest tribes of western India, living in parts of Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Maharashtra.Many | | | |Bhil are Hinduised. There is a myth of descent from a tiger ancestor. The Jhabua Bhil and others believe in Bhagavan or | | | |Bholo Iswor, who is a personal supreme god. They also believe in minor deities who have shrines on hills or under trees. | | | |Worship of Bhagavan is at the settlement's central sanctuary.

There is a human-oriented cult of the dead, whose main | | | |ritual is called Nukto and is practised in front of the dead person's house.Nukto purifies the spirit of the dead and | | | |unites it with Bhagavan. Gothriz Purvez is the collective ancestor. The concept of a spirit rider is important in Nukto | | | |and Gothriz Purvez accompanies the spirit on part of its journey to the afterworld. | | | |The Todas are a small pastoral community living on the 7,000 Nilgiri Hills in South India. They believe in 1600 or 1800 | | | |superior godlike beings, the two most important being On and Teikirzi.On is the male god of Amnodr, the realm of the | | | |dead, and he created the Todas and their buffaloes.

He was himself a dairyman. Teikirzi is a female deity and more | | | |important with the people, whom she once ruled when she lived in the Nilgiris and established Toda social and ceremonial| | | |laws. Most other deities are hill-gods, each associated with a particular hill. There are also two river-gods belonging | | | |to the two main rivers. Toda religion is based on the buffaloes and their milk. The temples are the dairies. | | |Many tribes in India show considerable syncretism with Hinduism, such as the Kadugollas of Karnataka, who worship gods | | | |such as Junjappa, Yattappa, Patappa, and Cittappa, but in reality are more devoted to Siva, who dominates their | | | |festivals and religious observances.

Local deities are still of importance, though, as with the Bedanayakas of | | | |Karnataka, who worship Papanayaka, a deity supposed to have lived 300-400 years ago as a holy man among them and who | | | |performed miracles. |History |  |There is a variety of archaeological evidence from the prehistoric period, but this tells us very little of early | | | |religion. By adding evidence from physical anthropology, philology, and other sources, we can say there were unified | | | |tribal communities. Some scholars go further and suggest that the prehistoric tribal community was a "religious | | | |universe" in which all living was a religious way of life.We must not assume that there are many similarities between | | | |prehistoric and contemporary tribal communities. | | | |The eminent anthropologist Evans-Pritchard wrote that tribal communities "have just as long a history as our own, and | | | |while they are less developed than our own society in some respects they are often more developed in others" (Social | | | |Anthropology, Glencoe, Ill. , 1951, p.

7). | | |From the 2nd millenium BCE, the tribal peoples have been increasingly dominated by the majority population, with their | | | |lands encroached on by peasant farmers. In this century industry and social planning have made inroads into the tribal | | | |lands. The result is a loss of cultural identity and Hinduisation. Tribal peoples are becoming absorbed into Hindu | | | |society at the lowest caste levels. Even the most isolated tribes are affected by this process.Cultural exchange has | | | |long been important, as with the Bhil, the Santal, and the Toda.

| | | |The Nagas remember their genealogies with great care. Stone monuments are erected in the belief that as long as the | | | |stone stands, so the family will endure, through the propitiation and aid of the dead. Such beliefs may relate to | | | |elaborate stone circles of an earlier time. | | | |The Bhils are believed to be the Dravidian Billa (meaning 'bowman'), one of the non-Aryan tribes of India.In early | | | |Sanskrit writings they are the Pulinda and Nishada, and have been identified with the Phyllitai of Ptolemy. | | | |The origin of the Todas has been much speculated on and it has even been suggested that they came from ancient Sumer. | | | |There are many stone circles and other megalithic monuments on the Nilgiri Hills, of which the Todas now take little | | | |interest, though these may have been erected by the older Teivaliol strata of the people who have been superceded by the| | | |pastoral Tartharol.

| | |In the Vijayanagara period (1336-1565) the eclectic attitude towards religion resulted in the growth of folk forms of | | | |religion, whose influence still continues today, especially in the Tamil south. Gods such as Aiyanar, Karappacami, | | | |Mariamman (see separate entry), and Murugan have expanded into Hinduism, as has the Kerala god Aiyyappa. | |Symbols |  |Among the Nagas status symbols are displayed at major festivals and ritual dance acts out oral tradition.Woven designs | | | |are mainly geometric with a limited colour range. Animal or human forms are rare except on the bags and sashes of the | | | |Khampti. Once certain tatoos showed the wearer had taken an enemy's head. Costumes and ornaments of hair, fur, shells, | | | |cane, ivory, carved and polished wood, and monkeys' skulls are not only for aesthetic effect but possess power and each | | | |ornament is restricted to certain groups.

The same object can be used on different occasions depending on the tribe, | | | |particularly male status insignia. After head-hunting ceased in the late 19th or early 20th century, wood-carving of | | | |heads (or brass versions from Hindus) was important to males, symbolising their bravery and status. Such carvings are on| | | |drinking mugs, smoking pipes, and morung pillars, and are often decorated with cloth, hair, or beads and painted black | | | |or red.They are formal in expression with faces like the dead. Carvings on the morung are for prestige and power, and | | | |include warriors, dancing couples, powerful animals, and fantastic creatures such as a tiger with two heads. Erotic | | | |motifs among the Konyak are based on the mithuna (Sanskrit: loving couple) or buffalo, symbolising wealth or fertility. | | | |The hornbill is only carved on the chief's morung.

Carved effigies of the dead were formerly placed before the tomb. | | |Among the tribes of eastern and central India, body tatooing and painting is important. Elaborate female hair combs also| | | |appear as love-tokens for the Juang and symbols of married status among the Muduva and others. Certain ornamental | | | |materials have magical significance, such as iron and cowries as a cure for headaches and to protect from lightning. | | | |Iron objects are associated with itinerant ironworkers and cowries with Lambadi nomads, who have special power due to | | | |their marginal status.Ritual significance of animals or birds is symbolised by horned headdresses worn at festivals and| | | |dances by the Maria, and the Khondh use the beak of a hornbill. Masks of wood and terracotta can be used to ensure | | | |success in hunting or may relate to former human sacrifice.

Masks are offered to Dharni Pinnu, the earth mother, by the | | | |Kuttia Kondh of Orissa, and stones symbolise her. Hinduism is lampooned by tribes in the Mandla area at the Laru Kaj | | | |ritual when someone acts as a Hindu ascetic who is offered pork and alcohol. | | |The Bhil offer terracotta model horses as spirit riders at small shrines on hills and under trees. Uncarved symbolic | | | |stones in the central sanctuary represent Bhagavan. From the 6th century the influence of the Rajputs has brought the | | | |image of the mounted horseman. Gothriz Purvez, the collective ancestor, is shown as a small equestrian figure made of | | | |brass with copper from the anklets of the dead man's widow.The anklets symbolise the marriage and the clan.

Together | | | |with a small figure of a cow, the spirit rider is central to Nukto ritual. | | | |Until fairly recently Toda women were tatooed in patterns of dots and circles as a sign of adulthood. A small scar or | | | |scars on a boy's wrist, elbow or under the shoulder showed that he had the status for milking buffalo. Before British | | | |rule, most jewellery was made by metalsmiths of the Kota tribe for the Todas.Gold pendants adorned sacrificial buffalo,| | | |one being in the form of a stylized buffalo mask with plant motif at the back. This had magical power. Another elaborate| | | |buffalo adornment is of three large rosettes of hundreds of cowries sewn on black cotton cloth with gold and silver | | | |beads and silver pendants at the edges of the rosettes.

This ornament is triangular and hung between the forelegs of the| | | |buffalo with one rosette attached to each horn.The triangle symbolises Thekkis, the mother goddess. Large cloaks are | | | |worn by men and women. These are made by Hindus and then embroidered by Toda women in long stripes and zigzags as well | | | |as traditional motifs. | |Adherents |  |About 7% of Indians, between 60 and 65 million people, are officially classified into 'Scheduled Tribes' (The Dictionary| | | |of Art, ed. Jane Turner, New York: Macmillan, 1996, Vol 15, p. 731).

|Headquarters/ |  |Each tribal community has its own main centre. | |Main Centre | | | Terms used While the government of India refers to indigenous peoples as "Scheduled Tribes", Adivasi has become the popular term for India's indigenous or tribal peoples. It is a Sanskrit word meaning "original people". Contrary to the official government position, this term reflects the widely recognised fact that the people in question are the earliest known settlers on the Indian subcontinent and North-East India.The indigenous or tribal peoples of India's north-eastern region (the seven states Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Tripura) do not call themselves, nor are they normally referred to in literature, as Adivasi in spite of the fact that the meaning of the term very much applies to the respective people. Representatives of these peoples prefer to use the English term "indigenous peoples". Population In the 2001 census, 84.

33 million persons were classified as members of Scheduled Tribes, corresponding to 8. 2% of the total population.The census lists 461 groups recognised as tribes, while estimates of the number of tribes living in India reach up to 635. While the number of members of the largest tribes, such as the Gonds, Santals, Oraon, Bhils or Nagas go into the millions others, such as the Onge or the Great Andamanese, are on the brink of extinction. The majority of the indigenous and tribal peoples live in an almost contiguous belt stretching from Gujarat in the west to the seven states in the north-east, with the highest concentration in the central region, where more than 50% of the tribal people live.The highest ethnic diversity among the indigenous and tribal population is in the north-eastern region, where 220 distinct groups have been identified. They comprise approximately 12% of the total indigenous population of India.

Livelihood India's tribal people are among the poorest in the country. The "Scheduled Tribes" have the highest poverty rate of the three categories of people officially distinguished. A 1991 census showed that 52. 17% of them live below the poverty line. Among the Scheduled Castes this figure is 48. 14% and among other people 31. 9% (the overall figure for India given in the same survey is 37.

09%). This dismal situation is reflected in the health and nutritional status of tribal villagers. Especially where access to forest products to supplement their diet and to provide additional cash income is no longer possible – either because the forests have been destroyed or their rights of access are being denied – under-nourishment and malnutrition is widespread. Most of India's indigenous peoples have been forest dwellers for centuries. Traditionally, forests met most of their fodder, food, medicinal and other needs.A long process of turning forest areas into a source of revenue and timber, and exploitation of the mineral resources, has led to deforestation, loss of livelihood and displacement of indigenous peoples. The vast majority of the labour force among scheduled tribes is engaged in the agricultural sector (the figure for all India is 66.

84%). This means that almost nine-tenths of tribal families rely on natural resources for their livelihood. The majority of these are engaged in permanent agriculture but shifting cultivation still forms the mainstay of the domestic economy in many upland areas, particularly in the north-east.A few small groups in Central and South India and on the Andaman Islands live almost entirely from hunting, gathering and fishing. Since tribal communities have been forced off most of the fertile plains they previously inhabited, the majority of tribal farmers cultivate marginal land, using rather extensive methods. Above all, irrigation is absent from most areas, the extensive rice terraces of some indigenous peoples, for example some Naga tribes in the north-east, being the exception. Forests have always, and for almost all tribal societies, been of vital importance for their livelihood.

Shifting cultivators have tapped the regenerative forces of natural forest succession on fallow land, wild animals are hunted and represent an indispensable source of protein. Forest plants are gathered for food, fuel, medicine, spices, ornaments, dye etc. , many of which are sold and represent the main source of cash for tribal villagers. Some tribal communities in Central India have become professional specialists, providing other tribal communities with artisanal products such as baskets, woven textiles, iron tools etc. A small but rapidly growing number are employed as industrial labourers.The status and situation of indigenous and tribal women The status of tribal women is markedly better than that in the Hindu caste society. Women play an important role in the domestic economy of tribal societies, they are usually allowed to move freely, and have the right to choose their marriage partners or at least have a large say in this (it is always, at the very least, a family affair).

Divorce is usually possible and much easier, and tribal widows – unlike their Hindu sisters – have no problem in remarrying. But, again, these are generalisations and there are indigenous societies in which child and forced marriages are common.In many tribal societies, paying a bride price is part of the marriage arrangement. This stands in contrast to the dowry practice in Hindu society, which means that the birth of a baby girl represents a heavy economic burden for poorer families, with enormous repercussions on the status of women, and on the sex ratio in the population. Studies have shown that baby girls are less well-looked after than boys, leading to a higher infant mortality rate. The possibility of pre-natal sex identification has led to a rapid drop in the births of baby girls. In hardly any indigenous society do women participate in formal political ecision-making.

They are often consulted, by their husbands or in community meetings. But they are not members of village councils, and cannot become the chief. They also hardly ever play an important role in religion, although they may also be spirit mediums or healers. Generally, women are valued for their productive and reproductive functions. With the exception of a few matrilineal societies (such as the Garo and Khasi of Meghalaya in the north-east), women do not inherit land. And even among the matrilineal societies, the land is in reality managed and controlled by men.Indigenous women's right to land is usually only a usufruct right.

But it is very important for unmarried women and widows. Ownership normally rests with their fathers, brothers or husbands. Men therefore tend to have greater control over agricultural production and products. However, tribal women do enjoy spheres in which they retain some control. On mainland India, in particular, gathering forest products - which has been very much a female activity - is crucial for women to maintain at least some degree of autonomy since they have control over these products, i. e. they sell them themselves.

Source: "Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in India" (2001) by Christian Erni & Shimreichon, ILO (Desk Review) Indian Scheduled Tribes are the group of tribal communities and was given the name `Scheduled Tribes` during the post- Independence period, under the rule of Indian Constitution. The primary criteria adopted for delimiting Indian backward communities as "Scheduled Tribes" include, traditional occupation of a definitive geographical area, characteristic culture that includes a whole range of tribal modes of life, i. e. , language, customs, traditions, religious beliefs, arts and crafts, etc. archaic traits portraying occupational pattern, economy, etc. , and lack of educational and economic development. The first prerequisite of Indian Scheduled Tribes in relation to a particular State or Union Territory is through a notified order of the President, after consultation with the concerned State Government.

These orders can be modified consequently only through an Act of Parliament. According to Article 342 of the Constitution of India, the President, after consulting with the State Governments concerned, has promulgated nine orders so far.This promulgation has clearly specified the Scheduled Tribes in relation to the concerned State and Union Territories. India can proudly be called the largest "tribal" population in the world. The scheduled tribes in India constituted 8. 2 percent of India`s population according to 2001 census. This interprets into eighty two million people.

In all, six hundred and ninety eight scheduled tribes exist at present in India. The word "scheduled tribe" is an administrative coinage, used for purposes of giving out constitutional privileges, security and benefits in independent India.Indian tribal imprint is noticeably visible in the Hindu tradition. Much of Hindu civilisation possesses tribal forerunners. The tribal element aided in delimiting the Sanskritic inheritance, as the Arthashastra, the Mahabharata and Ramayana suggest. And yet due to reasons of geography, colonial history and a number of shortcomings in post-independence era, the scheduled tribes are yet to become sophisticated and see the light of day. | | The Indian scheduled tribes collectively owned property in keeping with their tradition.

The colonial authorities had introduced a land administration where others infringed into traditional tribal lands on the grounds that such lands were "terra nullius", i. e. no man`s land. This led to a series of tribal revolts against British colonial rule. And these tribal revolts have been legendary in Indian history, referring to the Malpahariya uprising in 1772, the turbulence in Kutch in 1815 and 1832, the Bhil revolt of 1818, the uprising of the Mers in Rajputana in 1820, the rebellion of the Hos in Chota Nagpur in 1831, the uprising of the Khonds in Orissa in 1846 and the Santhal rebellion in Bihar in 1855.Heroes like Birsa Munda, Kanhu Santhal and Tantya Bhil stand out valiantly in the chronicles of Indian nationalism. Indian scheduled tribes account for 55 percent of the total displaced population in India.

The Fifth and Sixth Schedules under Article 244 of Indian Constitution in 1950 provided for self-governance in particular tribal majority areas. The then governmental administration issued a draft National Policy on Tribals in 1999 to meet the developmental needs of tribal populations, including the scheduled tribes.Prominence was laid on education, forestry, health care, land rights, language policy and resettlement. Efforts were also made to differentiate tribal languages such as Bodo language, Gond language and Santhali language. The then Government had established a Ministry of Tribal Affairs. It designated out the states of Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand in acknowledgment of tribal sentiment. The subsequent governmental administration drafted the `controversial` Scheduled Tribes (Recognition of Forest Rights) Bill in 2005 to deal with their needs.

The Scheduled Tribes in India, also referred to as adivasis (original inhabitants), are spread across the central, northeast, and southern regions of India. These various tribes resided in India long before the Aryans had arrived roughly in 1500 B. C. The tribals were however socially and geographically isolated, following the entry of the Aryans and then consequently the Muslims and the British. More than six hundred and fifty tribes that make up the Scheduled Tribes speak a multitude of languages. They are also religiously diverse, with some following animism, while others have adopted Hinduism, Islam, or Christianity.The social traditions of most tribals make them stand out from the country`s mainstream Hindu population.

Along with being geographically and socially isolated, the tribal groups have historically been politically under-represented. Their regions of residence also have been economically underdeveloped. Scheduled tribe status under the Indian Constitution has designated reserved seats for tribals in political forums, such as the parliament, along with job reservations in the civil service and educational institutions.Some of the noted scheduled tribes in India comprise: Andamanese, Bodo, Bhils, Chakma, Dhodia Tribes of Gujarat, Gonds, Khasis, aboriginal people of Lakshadweep, Kurichiya, Kurumbar, Tripuris, Mizos, Mundaris, Nagas, Nicobarese, Oraon, Santals, Todas, Maldharis of Gujarat, Cholanaikkan, Warli, Kisan Tribe, Dongria Kondh, Bonda, Kutia Kondh, and Bishapus A`Mishapus. |Contributions of tribal communities in the conservation of traditional cultivars | [pic]Document(s) 17 of 38 [pic]T. Ravishankar and V. Selvam | | | | Abstract: Over the generations, tribal communities, namely Irulas, Malayalis and Muthuvans living in the state of Tamil Nadu, have been cultivating traditional cultivars of paddy, millets, pulses and vegetables.

The subsistence life style, local diet habits as well as dependence on monsoon rain for irrigation have led them to cultivate traditional varieties and to conserve local seeds for consumption and for sowing the following season.The cropping practices of these subsistence farmers, particularly the mixed cropping system which results in intensive farming in a limited area, is unique. Their knowledge of seed selection, their traditional methods of conserving seeds and grains in eco-friendly traditional granaries, and their communities' participation in maintaining germplasm provide important insights to global efforts aimed at genetic conservation. Their traditional practices are blessings in disguise and have saved many forms of specific and intra-specific varieties of millets and paddy. IntroductionBy the end of this century, the population of India is going to reach one billion. Simultaneously, farmland is expected to be engulfed by urbanization and environmental degradation. To maintain a satisfactory food security system, crop production should increase by 3% a year.

This is not an impossible task as, between 1960 and 1980, cereal yield increased by 750 kg per ha, largely due to the high-yielding varieties. However, the continued success behind breeding programs largely depends on the availability of wider germplasm in the form of traditional cultivars and landraces, ultivated by tribal families. Tribal communities, namely Irulas, Malayalis and Muthuvans living in the state of Tamil Nadu, have been cultivating traditional cultivars of paddy, millets, pulses and vegetables. The traditional cultivars sown by them, over generations, form the principal crops of their agricultural system. The subsistence life style, local diet habits and organoleptic preferences of these tribes, as well as their dependence on monsoon rain for irrigation, have led them to cultivate and conserve local seeds for consumption and for sowing the following season.This traditional practice is a blessing in disguise and has saved many forms of specific and intra-specific varieties of millets and paddy. By careful selection and conservation, these communities have enhanced the genetic potential of their seeds and have been able to remain self-reliant for generations.

Nearly 54 traditional cultivars have so far been identified from the tribal communities (Table 1). The tribals prefer to continue the cultivation of their own traditional cultivars as these crops are ecologically suitable (Table 2), drought resistant, pest tolerant and disease resistant. Table 1: Traditional cultivars used by the Irula, Malayali, and Muthuvan tribes | |Local name or description of the cultivars |Botanical name | |Paddy |Oryza sativa | |1.Modumulingi, Perunellu, Dhonanellu or Mottanellu | | |2. Kottanellu | | |3. Manavari | | |Minor Millets; Samai (Little Millet) |Panicum sp. | |4.

Vellasama | | |5. Kothusamai or Pillusamai | | |6. Karunsamai | | |7. Odusamai | | |Ragi (Finger Millet) |Eleusine coracana | |8.Vellasurattai | | |9. Karunsurattai | | |10 Vellari | | |11.Thooval Kevuru | | |12.

Periya ragi | | |13. Sendu ragi | | |Varagu |Paspalam sp. | |14. Thiri varagu | | |15.Pani varagu | | |16. Varagu | | |Thinai (Foxtail Millet) |Setaria sp. | |17.

Karunthinai | | |18.Vellanthinai | | |19. Korai | | |Kambu (Millet) |Pennisetum sp. | |20. Malakambu or Pottukambu | | |21. Kattukambu | | |Makkasolam Zea mays | |22. Mokkasolam | | |23.

Silippisolam | | |24. Pottusolam | | |Pulses |Dolichos sp. | |25.Kollu | | |26. Avarai | | |27. Pandhal avarai | | |28. Mochai | | |29.

Karuppu avarai | | |30.Vellai avarai | | |31. Oor avarai | | |32. Thuvarai | | |33. Ulundu |Phaseolus sp. | |34.Thatta payiru |Vigna sp.

| |Culinary | | |35. Molagai |Capsicum sp. | |36. Yellu |Sesamum sp. | |Vegetables | | |37. Poosani |Cucurbita sp. |38.

Parangi |Cucurbita sp. | |39. Suraikkai |Lagenari sp. | |40. Kothavaranga |Dolichos sp. | |Thinai (or) Pandi | | |41. Uppan thinai |Setari sp.

| |42.Sen thinai | | |43. Arapandi | | |Thatta Payiru |Vigna sp. | |44. Kuthukaramani | | |45. Kodithattapayiru | | |Keerai |Amaranthus sp. |46.

Pink variety | | |47. Dark brown variety | | |48. Pale brown variety | | |49.Green variety | | |50. Vella keerai | | |51. Karungkeerai | | |52. Padukukeerai | | |53.

Mullukeerai | | |54. Silukeerai | | |Table 2: Input and output ratio of traditional crops grown by Malayalis | |No. |Name |Quantity sown (kg/acre) |Duration of crop (months) |Yield (kg/acre) |Manure | |1. Panicum sp. (Vella Saamai) |30 |4 (May/June to Sept ) |800 |Organic | |2. |Panicum sp. (Kothu saamai) |7 1/2 to 8 |6 (June/July - Dec.

/Jan. ) |600-800 |Organic | | |Eleusine sp. (Kevuru) |15 |5 (June/July to Nov/Dec) or (May/June to Sept/Oct) |800-100 |Organic | |3. |Panicum sp. Karun Saamai) |7 1/2 to 8 |5 to 6 (May/June to Sept/Oct) or (May/June to |800 |Organic | | |+ | |Dec/Jan) | | | | |Setaria sp. (Thinai (Korai) |15 |5 (May/June to Sept/Oct) |1000-1200 |Organic | |4. |Setaria sp.

(Sen thinai) |1 |5 (May/June to Sept/Oct) |500 |Organic | |5. Paspalum sp. Pani varagu |30 |3 (May/June to July/Aug) |800 |Organic | |6. |Oryza sp. Periya nellu or Madumulingi or |50 |5 (May/June to Oct/Nov) |1000-1200 |Organic | | |Dhona nellu | | | | | |7. |Oryza sp.Kotta nellu or Pulidikaaru |50 |5 (May/June to Oct/Nov) |1000-1200 |Organic | |8.

|Oryza sp. (Manavaari) |50 |6 (Nov/Dec to April/May) |800 |Organic | Knowledge of tribes on traditional agricultural practices The traditional knowledge of tribes as relates to their farming practices gives real meaning to the word 'sustainability'. Such knowledge also helps them derive maximum benefits from traditional farming techniques adopted and racticed by them over generations. One important aspect of their agricultural system is the mixed cropping system which enables them to cultivate cereals, leafy vegetables, pulses and oil crops in a given area depending on monsoon rain and to harvest different crops in different periods in a year to meet their food and economic requirements. This concept of intensive farming can be adopted in places where rainfed monocropping is in vogue as it increases the return value to farmers' efforts. Nearly 60% of arable land in the world is still under cultivation by traditional or subsistence methods (Altieri 1983).With the growing population and the increasing demand for food resources, intensive farming needs to be practiced in increasingly limited land areas; there are few land options for expanding agriculture.

Under these circumstances, mixed cropping agriculture needs to be introduced in areas wherever monocropping is practiced, depending on the monsoon rain. In the mixed cropping system, seeds of common millet, finger millet, grain and leaf amaranths, pulses and castor are mixed together and broadcast.Primarily, the common millet is harvested, followed by finger millet. Edible leaves of amaranth and seeds and pods of pulses are used for daily consumption. Edible grains of amaranth are harvested and stored for future use. Amaranth seeds, puffed and mixed with honey are highly relished by Muthuvans. Castor seeds are harvested and used for both domestic consumption and for market sale.

The mixed cropping system not only helps in utilizing the seasonal rainfall but also in keeping the soil unexposed during dry season to prevent top soil erosion.The combination of crops with legumes also helps in nitrogen fixation, thus maintaining the soil fertility. It is observed that vegetable crops like ash gourd, bitter gourd and pumpkin are cultivated along field bunds to substantiate their diet resources. Seclection of better genetic material of crops By virtue of their age-old knowledge of the viability of grains, healthy cobs or grains are selected and stored every season, thereby enhancing the genetic potential of the crop to withstand biotic and abiotic stresses. For example, healthy cobs are left in the field so as to allow them to dry to he maximum number of days--to make sure that no moisture is left in the seeds. The selection of large and healthy seeds, and also the selection based on the color of the seed has also helped them select more viable seeds. Traditional methods of storing The tribal communities store their seed material and grains for consumption either in granaries, made up of bamboo coated with red soil and thatched with local grass, or in earthen pots.

This traditional practice of storing has saved many varieties of cereals and minor millets in Tamil Nadu in India over the years.Knowingly or unknowingly, this practice has enabled them to maintain/preserve/conserve seed material. Due to the free flow of air in and out of these indigenous granaries, seeds can maintain their viability. Apart from this, storing of seeds, along with the pods or entire fruits in case of legumes, has prevented contact between the seeds thereby helping to reduce the fungal or bacterial infection/contamination. Leaves of a few botanicals, particularly neem and vitex, are used by these people as insect and pest repellents. MaintenanceTribals periodically check-up on their stocks in order to monitor the presence of moisture, which encourages fungal or bacterial growth and can result in the production of aflotoxins. Community efforts for the conservation of seed material The community co-operation and participation prevailing in the Malayali tribal community has helped conserve the seed material of minor millets for many years.

Every family in the community has to contribute an amount of grain to the community granary, which is then maintained and managed by the chieftain of the hamlet.During important occasions, e. g. marriages, social events, festivals or in the event that someone lacks fare for daily consumption, grain can be borrowed on loan. This system has enabled the tribals to conserve seed material, even if some community members produce less in any one season or exhaust their own household stocks. The tribal communities studied share view that high-yielding varieties are susceptible to pests and diseases and also need constant irrigation.In addition, high-yielding varieties require fertilizer application, whereas traditional cultivars do well when receiving domestic refuse and botanical green manure.

Also, traditional cultivars suit local dietary habits and can be easily cultivated without external inputs. Overall, the traditional cultivars are highly suitable and adapted to the local agroclimatic conditions--as shown by their continued cultivation and, hence, conservation over a long period of time. Conclusions The above practices clearly reveal the traditional wisdom of tribal communities in understanding the physiological traits of their cultivars.Due to the reasons stated above, the genetic strains could be conserved by these people for the long-term. Now, because of increasing population pressure in tribal areas and contact with people dwelling in the plains (who practice unsustainable life styles), there are significant threats to the genetic material conserved by the tribes. Hence, these genetic strains should be conserved-- not only because they serve as the base material for plant breeding experiments--but also because they secure the livelihood of the many communities who depend on them. 44444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444 4444444444444444444444 |[pic] | |[pic] | |[pic] | | | |  | |[pic] |[pic] | |[pic] | |[pic] | | | | | |  | | | |  | | | |[pic] | | | |[pic] | | | | | | | | | |  | | | |  | |[pic] | | | |[pic] | | | |[pic] | | | |[pic] | | | |[pic] | | | |[pic] | | | |[pic] | | |[pic] | | | |[pic] | | | |[pic] | | | |[pic] | | | |[pic] | | | |[pic] | | | |  | | | | | |[pic] | |SHIFTING CULTIVATION IN NORTH-EAST INDIA- AN OVERVIEW | |J.

Singh, I. P.Borah, A. Barua,and K. N. Barua | |Divn. of Shifting Cultivation | | | |  | |Shifting cultivation commonly known as slash and burn agriculture, is believed to be originated during the Neolithic period around 7000 B.

C. It was a remarkable innovation during primitive culture and | |regarded as the first step in transition from food gathering to food production.Yet this system of farming is still practiced in different parts of the world. It has been estimated that about 200 million | |people, 7% of mankind of the world is still practicing this type of cultivation in about 300 million ha. of various land i. e. 5% of cultivated soil throughout the world.

In India around two million tribal | |people cultivated approximately 11 million hectare of land under shifting cultivation. In North-East India over a 100 of tribal ethnic minorities are practicing shifting cultivation and in certain parts of | |this region it is practised not only by the tribal minorities but also by the landless people and lowland migrants.According to the report of National Commission on Agriculture ( 1976), 49 ,2000 tribal | |families of this region are involved in Jhumming and the total area affected by this practice is 26,94,000 ha. A recent study based on satellite data carried out by the Assarn Remote Sensing Application | |Center (ASTC Council, 1996) shows that in the Karbi Anglong District of ASSAM the area under current Jhum has increased from 13583 ha ( 1. 302% of total geographical area) in 1986-87 to 69125 ha (6. 62% of | |total geographical area) in 1993-94. The corresponding figures for the N.

C. Hills district are 22,807 ha (4. 67% of total geographical area) and 69447 ha (14. 21% of geographical area) in 1986-87 and 1993-94 | |respectively.The practice of shifting cultivation was not harmful or was considered rather useful during the time when it was started. Least disturbance to soil, natural fertility build up of soil, mixed | |cropping on slopes under purely rainy conditions and dependenceslopes underpurely rairiyconditions and dependence of local resources, were some of its merits. When the system emerged there was no population | |pressure and the cycle of rotation was 10 to 20 years or above, thus leaving enough time for the soil to revive.

Due to increase in population, and non-availability of land, the cultivation cycle nowadays | |has reduced to 3-6years, thus resulting into a large scale damage to the forests which leads deforestation and denudation of hill slopes.In the north eastern region, however, secondary succession is quick | |to take place, but in most cases the area is occupied by weeds, useless shrubs, tall grasses and different species of bamboos. After the land is abandoned it is rarely occupied by the original vegetation. | |More commonly due to xerophytic condition, evergreen trees and shrubs are replaced by the weeds, bamboo and coarse grasses Pioneer species such as MaCaranga and Trema spp. often occupy the abandoned areas. | |With large scale deforestation in shifting cultivation there occurs undesirable ecological imbalance. At the very beginning of this process just after cutting and burning the organic matter, the soil erosion| |is started through the slopes.

Jungle cutting, burning, clearing and dibbling of seeds accounted fora considerable amount of loose soil material, ashes and soil clods to roll down the foothills. The studies | |indicate that shifting cultivation leads to(a) lowering of organic content (b) decreasing the available phosphorus, potassium and magnesium (c) lowering the total quantity of sesquioxides, iron, aluminium, | |calcium, potassium, phosphorus etc. (d)affecting adversely the cation exchange capacity and physical properties i. e. water holding capacity and field capacity and increasing the pH and reducing microbial | |activity (FAO, 1981). The soil fertility decreases rapidly in the second year and is very poor in the third year.The cultivation during the third year and beyond is usually uneconomical.

Moreover, a large | |number of important tree species, valuable wild life, wiLd plants representing great diversity of gene pool, rare orchids are loss during the process of shifting cultivation. Although shifting cultivation is| |primitive as well as labour intensive and ecologically imbalance farming system yet it is very difficult to change traditional shifting cultivators even if we provide all the modern farm inputs. Firstly it | |is very deeprooted and secondly it is a part of socio-cultural life of the tribal people which is linked to their religious rites and festivals.Thus to replace jhuming with alternate system of farming | |should be taken up on a priority basis in areas where the jhuming cycle has come down to 3-5 years. In the areas where the cycle is 6 years and above, the improvement approach may be introduced immediately | |so as to gradually shift to alternate farming system which include terracing of the land, afforestation of the upper hill areas undertaking of plantation of each crop etc. and should also include three tier | |system, viz, forestry, silvipasture/horticulture and agriculture. However, a massive awareness programme, survey for scientific land use accompanied by well conceived watershed management must be taken up | |simultaneously.

Studies on various alternative farming system to shifting cultivation indicates that agriculture with bench terrace and contour bunds as conservation base can provide stable alternative to | |switch over from shifting to permanent agriculture system. Given the new technology for the use of lands for developing extensive forestry, tree culture and animal husbandry and the support which the states | |can provide to help them in converting their labour into capital assets, the shifting cultivators can attain a higher status of living within a reasonable time. It will also help the cultivator families to | |build up a new economic system which is nearest to their tradition. Thus the cultivator will be able to bypass the processes of deprivation and unpleasant tasks when they are faced with sudden change in | |their life without adequate preparation. | | |  | | | | | | | | | |  | | | | | |  | |[pic] | | | | | | | | | |  | | | |  | |HOME | THE INSTITUTE | COMMITMENT | PUBLICATIONS | INFRASTRUCTURE | | | |RESOURCES | RESEARCH DIVISIONS | FEEDBACK | SITE INDEX | CONTACT US | | | |[pic] | | | | | |  | | | | |Copyright © RFRI, 2002 | | | |Designed by: Himanshu Mishra & Santanu Saikia | | | | | | | | | |  | | | |[pic] [pic] | | | | | | | | | |[pic] | | | | | | | | | |[pic] | |[pic] | |[pic] | |[pic] | |[pic] | | | |Organic Farming | [pic] | |[pic][pic][pic] | |2/7 | | | |[pic] | |[pic][pic][pic] | |3/6 | | | | | | | |Organic Farming, by Biosourcing. in India | | | |[pic] | | | | | | | | | |Biosourcing. represents 100s of "TRIBAL FARMERS", from INDIA.

Most of then are traditionally, by default "ORGANIC", especially because they cannot afford | |fertilizers and have never used chemical fertilizer and pesticide. The still consider them as "Poisons", which could destroy their land, and make their | |children ill. Thanks to the same, implementing modern organic Practices has been so easy in those places. | | | |Our Offer... | |• Cost Friendly - Our organic products do not cost more than their conventionally produced counterparts.

Even though the organic practices are more | |expensive, we are not exorbitant, because when you consider our direct model "FARM TO RETAIL PACK", they price advantage is extraordinary, as all the | |middle-men are gone. |• Natural Source - Tribal Land of India. Our products are from the tribal peoples who live next to the nature, and are traditionally organic. The natural | |springs, the forest cover, the organic manure all add up to the puerest organic food and herbs. | |• Direct farm Produce - We get for you organic product, to any corner of this world, direct from our 100s of dedicated farmers. | | | |Organic Aspect..

. | |When we started farming organically, a system which we believe offers many common-sense answers to the problems facing agriculture, the food industry and our| |environment.Organic standard embrace all aspects of farming system most especially quality, sustainability and food safety. We believe that for our future | |health and well being, it is the way forward. | | | |Quality Assurance & Care...

| |One of the area in which we place a tremendous emphasis is quality control, sanitation and handling to ensure an exceptionally pure end product. There are a | |number of factors that contribute to our clean, pure end product. It starts in the field, with the growers to processing and then for packaging. | | | |Sustainability... | |Our organic foods are grown without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, fumigants.

They meet worldwide standards that include avoiding the use of | |genetically-modified or chemically treated seeds, using non chemical farming methods to sustain soil quality and avoiding specific chemical additives during | |processing. | | | |Our philosophy : | |People who choose to "go organic" do so for many reasons than just the price of product. Organic food delivers quality, fibre, safety, diet and human | |nutrition in an environmentally, socially and economically manner. | | | |"Standardisation of term "Organic" coupled with a sharp look at total quallity management at farm level is increasing the popularity of our food". | | | | | | | | | | | | |Being Organic :- | | | | | |Benefit to Land : | |Soil, being a living organism, loves to cooperate when it comes to farming or gardening. A green thumb is prone to appear on those who ally themselves with | |its requirements for health. | |It improves Soil Capillarity.

| |Soil erosion, Percolation also controlled. | |PH of the Soil will remain Neutral. (PH 6 to 7). | |Improves microbial activity of micro organism and macro organism in Soil. | |Water Holding Capacity also increased. | |Soil becomes Light, Soil aeration also increased. | | |Organic Manure Used : | |Farmyard Manure | |Organic Compost | |Compost from dry Leaves | |Compost Water Plant | |Vermi Compost | |Green Manure | |Azolla | |Blue Green Algae | |Bio -Fertilizer | |Azospirillum | |Azotobactor | |Acetobactor | |Phosphate Solubilising Bacteria.

| | |Organic Pesticides and Herbicides used : | |Neem Oil | |Derris elliptica oil | |Ocimum basilicum oil | |Beauveria bassiana | |Metarhizium anisopliae | |Pseudomonas | |Trichoderma Viride | |Herbicides (Weed Control) | |Mulching | |Manually | | | | | | | |Who are working with us : | |Not much has changed in the life-style of the tribes over the centuries and so is their agricultural practises.All these will change only through the | |dedicated Organisation lead by pinoneers in Agriculture who are the guiding torch to our ancestorial Organic Agricultural practises with scientific | |modification and modulation introduction of eco-friendly organic fertilisers, herbicides, enforcing traditional methods with techno-know-how and most of all | |is our empathy to bring forth a profitable yeild and standarised quality assurance to the products. It is only these Organisations who are the heart to our | |vision to lead the path to Globalise the indigenious Organic certified Agricultural products to our customer on his/her plate. | | | | |Our working Model : | |Sharing The benefits. | |Generate employment | |Poverty alleviation | |Extension of Organic farming with scientific approach. | |Production of quality, value added argricultural products. | |Minimizing the exploitation of traders through inculcating feelings of self-confience and self-reliance amonge the tribals.

| |Promoting the usage of herbicide and vermicompost for farming Organically

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