Nature Is Our Culture

A young Madia man overcomes discrimination and reconnects with his cultural identity. WORDS Natthu Maroti Gawade with Aniket Bambole | IMAGES Natthu Maroti Gawade . I’m Natthu Maroti Gawade, thirty-four years old, a resident of Kothri village, Bharbhidi post, Chamorshi Taluk, Gadchiroli district, Maharashtra, India. I belong to the Madia Indigenous community (one of the

Food and Culture

A young Naga woman connects with her Indigenous identity through the art of cooking while studying away from her homeland. Kikarenla Jamir . I come from the Naga Indigenous tribe of Northeast India. We have been identified as a minority and recognized as “the Other” because we are different from the “mainlanders” of India physically,

Aroli, the Sheperds’ Alarm Call

Indian nomadic pastoralists sound the alarm against historical injustices and draconian colonial laws. Saurabh Hatkar with Kanna K. Siripurapu . I was born into a Dhangar family, belonging to one of the traditional nomadic pastoralist communities of India. My native place is Hiwarkhed, a village in a hilly, drought-prone area of the Vidarbha region of

Everything Happens for a Reason

A student from northern India musters the courage to learn her native Bhoti language from a college friend. Sonam Chhomo . “Does polyandry also exist in Ladakh?” I asked my friend Rewa* as we strolled around the college campus after dinner. We were both students at St. Stephen’s College in Delhi, both of us hailing

Women Do It Differently: Realizing the Responsibilities of Rights in an Indigenous Community of India

Sakhi Women Self-Help Group

Village women succeed where the men had failed in restoring the community’s fisheries. WORDS Kanna K. Siripurapu and Aniket Bambole | IMAGES Kanna K. Siripurapu . On the northeastern side of Maharashtra State, India, lies Gadchiroli district, an area endowed with rich natural resources (about seventy percent of the land area is under forest cover)

Recognition: How to Keep Biocultural Diversity Alive

A Baiga man from Achanakmar Tiger Reserve

A Santhal woman embarks on a quest to understand her identity and what makes biocultural diversity thrive. Purabi Bose Reverence, respect, reciprocity: are there any alternatives to these fundamental principles for the survival of biocultural diversity? The answer is negative. One of the take-home messages of COVID-19 is that, for nature, the world is without

My Homeland

Wei Sawdong Falls

A Khasi youth expresses love and pride for his native land and culture. WORDS AND IMAGE    Carmel Fedrick Malngiang   Khasiland — The name of my homeland, Located somewhere on earth. Famous For its beauty, rain songs, and war Rich in culture and Unique in history. The aroma of love pervades the air, The

Indigenous Resilience and Regeneration: Cultural and Linguistic Revitalization during the Global Pandemic

Tharakan women

Amid the challenges of the pandemic, communities in India, Kenya, and Canada find a silver lining. David Stringer   Over more than two years of the global COVID-19 pandemic, much of the focus in the media has been on the negative impacts worldwide, particularly on vulnerable minorities and Indigenous Peoples. Yet, paradoxically, as Indigenous communities

The Cheruvayal Raman Effect

Cheruvayal Raman

Against the odds, a tribal farmer in southern India strives to conserve and share dozens of indigenous rice varieties. WORDS AND VIDEO  G. S. Unnikrishnan Nair | IMAGES  Anvar     It is widely known that rice is the staple food for half the people on earth. In Asia, it lies at the very heart of the

In the Abode of the Clouds: Biocultural Diversity of Meghalaya, India


WORDS Raynold Lyngdoh IMAGES Raynold and Anne Lyngdoh Nestled in the more secluded northeastern region of India are several unique tribal groups, each diverse and distinct in their own right. Every group faces immense challenges in maintaining their linguistic and cultural diversity, as globalization and external influences perpetually challenge and erode the age-old traditional practices