Category Archives: Homes and utensils

Traditional huts which use boulders and wooden logs are becoming rare in Yelagiri as many villagers now prefer concrete structures. But these tribal huts are much stronger. – “Tribal architecture and culture, passed on through generations” (The Hindu, 30 January 2013)

The disappearance of mud-house from Santal life not only ends the mud-house alone but also their religious and cultural life that are connected to it. And also the centuries-old traditional knowledge and art of building low-cost-no-cost mud-houses and the related skills and crafts, like wall paintings die out. The sources of small income of rearing domestic animals in open courtyard of the mud-house like hen, duck, goat and the pigeons in the earthen pots under the thatch roof also gets destroyed, because it is difficult to rear such animals in single-room house of tin roof. – Dr. Boro Baski (“Is ‘brick house’ the only sign of development?”, 21 July 2019; originally published in the widely read Bengali daily, Anandabazar Patrika)

Like all traditional architecture, the Naga way of building has evolved over centuries through trial and error. Out of necessity, it engages with the local environment directly. Local forest and earth provide a large part of building materials. And houses are shaped to offer resistance to the cold and rain. The lightweight architecture that results fits well in the earthquake-prone north-eastern region. […] The bamboo and thatch can be framed and braced well to resist earthquakes and reduce damage. – Dr. Himanshu Burte (“Naturally Naga”, Livemint 1 Feb 2009)


So there was the village blacksmith, the tailor, the cattle-rearer, the hunter-gatherer, the farmer, the fisherman, and even an expert who had the perfect antidote for treating poison bites […] none of the implements that were being used here were ‘bought’. They were all made by them. And necessity being the mother of invention, you could see innovation at its best. – Gangadharan Menon (“You’ve Seen Warli Paintings”, The Better India, 10 April 2014)

“Tribal communities have a much deeper and a live sense of nature, living organisms, climate and material”: Veteran architect Narendra Dengle on architecture as an art – Maharashtra

Veteran architect Narendra Dengle [Pune] on the ongoing evolution of architecture by HARSH KABRA, The Hindu, July 29, 2007 Architecture is the only art, which demands wanderings through space for us to appreciate it. […] My work in rural and tribal areas … Continue reading

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Bringing indigenous knowledge systems into a “pedagogy of the collective”: Kora, Munda, Oraon, Mahli and Santal communities’ egalitarian value system is a source of strength – West Bengal

Adivasi learner and ‘pass-fail’ policy by Dr. Boro BaskiEnglish translation by Prof. Sudipto Mukhopadhyay Lately the West Bengal Government has scrapped the no-detention policy and brings back the “pass-fail” system. One gets a second chance in Class five and eight … Continue reading

Posted in Adivasi, Childhood and children, Customs, Eastern region, Education and literacy, Homes and utensils, Languages and linguistic heritage, Misconceptions, Modernity, Music and dance, Names and communities, Press snippets, Revival of traditions, Rural poverty, Seasons and festivals, Success story, Women | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Bringing indigenous knowledge systems into a “pedagogy of the collective”: Kora, Munda, Oraon, Mahli and Santal communities’ egalitarian value system is a source of strength – West Bengal

Learn more about tribal communities in the “Seven Sister States”: Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland & Tripura

Posted in Anthropology, Childhood and children, Colonial policies, Commentary, Community facilities, Crafts and visual arts, Crocodile, Customs, De- and re-tribalisation, Democracy, Dress and ornaments, Eco tourism, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, Education and literacy, Elephant, Fashion, Figures, census and other statistics, Forest Rights Act (FRA), Games and leisure time, Government of India, Health and nutrition, History, Homes and utensils, Languages and linguistic heritage, Literature and bibliographies, Maps, Modernity, Multi-lingual education, Museum collections - India, Music and dance, Musicology, Nature and wildlife, Organizations, Performing arts, Revival of traditions, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Seasons and festivals, Seven Sister States, Success story, Tiger, Tips, Tourism, Trees, Video contents, Women, Worship and rituals | Comments Off on Learn more about tribal communities in the “Seven Sister States”: Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland & Tripura

Kondh Adivasis farmers known for their sophisticated practices of agro-forestry: Koraput region, “one of the world’s great biodiversity hotspots” – Odisha

CHITRANGADA CHOUDHURY – ANIKET AGA, counterpunch.org, 8 October 2019 | Read the full story here >> Pirikaka is a Kondh Adivasi farmer in her 40s.  Every year, for over two decades, she would prepare a hill slope for dongar chaas – literally, … Continue reading

Posted in Adivasi, Cultural heritage, Eastern region, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, Figures, census and other statistics, Globalization, Health and nutrition, Homes and utensils, Maps, Modernity, Names and communities, Organizations, Photos and slideshows, Press snippets | Tagged | Comments Off on Kondh Adivasis farmers known for their sophisticated practices of agro-forestry: Koraput region, “one of the world’s great biodiversity hotspots” – Odisha

Is “brick house” the only sign of development? – West Bengal

Dr. Boro Baski; translated from Bengali to English by Asha BaskiOriginally published in Anandabazar Patrika (India’s most widely read Bengali daily) I was born in a Santal village in Birbhun District. In my childhood I saw how my mother cleaned … Continue reading

Posted in Customs, Eastern region, Economy and development, Government of India, Health and nutrition, Homes and utensils, Modernity, Rural poverty | Tagged | Comments Off on Is “brick house” the only sign of development? – West Bengal