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Locking Horns to Save the Sacred Cow: India’s Indigenous Pastoralists Fight for Their Livelihoods and Cultural Traditions

Kanna K. Siripurapu The sacredness of the cow in India, especially to the vast majority of Hindus, hardly needs an introduction. According to the Hindu scriptures, all cows are descendants of the mythical cow Kamadhenu (also known as Surabhi). Born of an ocean of milk, Kamadhenu generously provides good things to anyone who asks. Her

Finding Resilience in the Time of COVID-19: The Pahari Bamboo Weaving Craft in Nepal

biocultural diversity

Manju Maharjan, Yuvash Vaidya, Prakash Khadgi, and Sheetal Vaidya About twelve kilometers southeast of the city of Lalitpur in Nepal, an urban village called Badikhel sprawls over an area of nearly six square kilometers. Surrounded by a dense forest, the village harbors about 3,600 members of an Indigenous community, the Pahari, whose unique dialect, Pahibhae,

You Can Eat Your Cake and Have It Too: A Special Cake Recipe from the Nicobar Islands, India

coconut helmet

by Rakhi Kumari Food—its cultivation, cooking, and consumption—is an important ingredient for studying a society. Whether looking at food through the lens of anthropology, history, or linguistics, we cannot skip this strand of the cultural tapestry of a society if we wish to understand it clearly. What we eat, and how we eat, isn’t just

Indigenous Knowledge, Biodiversity Conservation, and Poverty Alleviation Among Ethnic Minorities in Yunnan, China

Project Contributor: Xu Jianchu The opening up and success of economic reforms in recent decades in China have produced high and sustained economic growth rates and lifted millions of people out of poverty. Concurrent political reforms have decentralized many decision-making processes and created new democratic institutions, especially in rural areas. These changes, however, have placed

Culturally Rich Agroecosystems: Maintaining Traditional Beliefs for Food Security in Nepal

Project Contributor: Laxmi Pant Nepalese “rice culture” has provided important options to address the needs of ecosystems and local communities together, particularly in areas that are diverse, complex and resource poor. The cultivation of diverse landraces of rice has advantages over “improved” rice varieties, both ecologically and culturally. Despite greater economic value of improved varieties,

Recording Traditional Knowledge of Biodiversity for the People’s Biodiversity Register of India

Project Contributor: Yogesh Gokhale India is rich in biodiversity resources and the associated traditional knowledge of the properties and uses of these resources. However, the social, political, economic, technological and cultural milieu is changing rapidly, and this is significantly affecting the way in which India’s living resources are being used. Further, India is lacking in

Endangered Languages, Endangered Knowledge: Vanishing Voices of the Great Andamanese of India

Project Contributor: Anvita Abbi Project Website: www.andamanese.net The Andamanese represent the last survivors of the pre-Neolithic population of Southeast Asia. Genetic research (Thangaraj et al., 2005) indicates that the Andamanese tribes are the remnants of the first migration from Africa that took place 70,000 years ago. Of the 50 remaining Great Andamanese people who live

Local Knowledge and Self-Determination for Conservation: The Case of the Irular of Tamil Nadu, India

Project Contributor: C. Manjula Irular people inhabiting the southern part of India are one of the 635 indigenous tribal communities of the country. The population of indigenous tribal peoples in India, known collectively as Adivasis (original inhabitants), is estimated to be over 84 million people. Despite these high numbers, these communities usually live on the

Countering the Loss of Knowledge, Practices, and Species on Flores Island, Indonesia

Project Contributor: Jeanine Pfeiffer with the Tado Community, the Waerebo Community and Elizabeth Gish Tado and Waerebo are Manggarai ethnic communities located on Flores Island in East Nusa Tenggara province, eastern Indonesia. Despite being linguistically, culturally and ecologically rich, East Nusa Tenggara is perhaps the most neglected region of Indonesia. Manggarai traditional knowledge and practices

Life with Crocodiles: Reintroducing Human-Wildlife Coexistence in the Philippines

Project Contributor: Jan van der Ploeg The Northern Sierra Madre on the island of Luzon, Philippines, is one of the most ecologically valuable areas in the world. The area is also under severe threat from logging, destructive fishing, agricultural conversion, infrastructure development and hunting, all of which threaten biodiversity in the last forest frontier on