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Farming Is Fighting: A Dayak Community Resists Unjust Regulations and Land Privatization

Meta Septalisa In 2015, a tragedy hit Indonesia: massive forest and land fires, which blanketed the whole country with thick haze. Following this disaster, the Minister of Environment and Forestry stated that her ministry was investigating 417 companies that were responsible for fires on about 1.7 million hectares of forest. But that’s not all. The

Food and Fun in the Forest: An Indian Village Turns to Nature during a Pandemic-Induced Lockdown

Radhika Borde and Siman Hansdak Once upon a time, growing up as an Adivasi in rural Jharkhand in eastern India meant learning what the forest could provide in terms of nourishment, education, and enjoyment— as for Adivasis, a group claiming an Indigenous identity, the forest was a context for living rather than a resource to

Pandemic Perspectives: A Protective Rice Ritual in Tumbang Habangoi, Borneo

During a pandemic, Indigenous communities tend to be among the most vulnerable, given their often-limited access to water, food supplies, adequate healthcare, and other factors. In this special “Pandemic Perspectives” series of our Dispatches, we’re sharing stories from around the world to shed some light on the obstacles Indigenous Peoples face in light of COVID-19

My Extinction Rebellion through Education: A Young Dohoi Woman’s Message

village children

Lina A. Karolin One morning, I woke up early and, carefully parting the mosquito net that hung above me, I walked to the window next to my wooden bunk. I opened the window gently, trying not to make any noise so as not to wake the others up. It was dim outside, but I could

Fighting Deforestation with Tradition: The Laman Kinipan Festival in Borneo

Pinarsita Juliana Coconut leaves and other decorations were hanging on the frame of the meeting hall’s gate of Laman Kinipan, a village in Lamandau district of Central Kalimantan province, Indonesia. At the gate, a welcoming ritual called potong pantan was taking place. One after the other the honored guests, wearing traditional clothes, were given a

Remembering Licho, the Last Speaker of the Sare Language

Folk tale creation myth released by Licho

Last month, there were just four people left on earth who could speak a language from the Great Andamanic family, which hails from the Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal. On April 4, one of those speakers—a woman named Licho—passed away from tuberculosis and heart disease. She was the last woman alive to speak

Uncertainty & Resilience During Nepal’s COVID-19 Lockdown

Nepali student learning Nepal Lipi online

During a pandemic, Indigenous communities are often among the most vulnerable, given their often-limited access to water, food supplies, adequate healthcare, and other factors. In this special “Pandemic Perspectives” series of our Dispatches, we’re sharing stories from around the world to shed some light on the obstacles Indigenous Peoples face in light of COVID-19 lockdowns—along

Reviving Foods, Preserving Culture: My Journey as an Indigenous Food Entrepreneur

Indigenous knowledge

by Aruna Tirkey . I want to share with you the story of a journey I have begun. I am not on my way to a physical destination; rather, I am moving toward a goal: to revive local and Indigenous food as a means to strengthen my own Indigenous culture. To get there, I’m not counting on

A Chicken for Every Occasion: Exploring the Significance of India’s Native Poultry Breeds

biological diversity

by Kanna K. Siripurapu and Sabyasachi Das . . A few months ago, I received a document written by my colleague Uday Kalyanapu about the success of a backyard poultry project in the tribal-dominated areas of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. The project was started by WASSAN (Watershed Support Services and Activities Network), the

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