India’s tribal cultural heritage – Uttarakhand

The religion of communities in Garhwal has been influenced by the migration of various ethnological groups during different periods in past. Human activities such as collection of fuelwood, fodder, timber for construction, and cattle grazing affect the ecological status of landscapes, whereas developmental activities like road construction, dam establishment and other income generating activities may force younger generation to ponder, that such landscapes were only superstitious. Present observations confirm that traditional rituals and taboos are respected by older generation, whereas younger generation is migrating to earn their livelihood activities. Fading traditional knowledge from older to younger generation may no longer preserve the traditional heritage of knowledge. […]

It is difficult to uncover the origins of taboos, because those who made them are long dead. Nevertheless there are collected many stories about the origin of species specific taboos, none of which appear to have natural resource management ethic behind them. Celebration of different festivals and offering of worship within these landscapes has a long history of preserving the traditional cultural knowledge of the region, and are representing true socio-culture heritage of the region/state. […]

The practice of religious rituals, ceremonies and sanctions by specific cultural groups allow such sacred landscapes to be maintained, emphasizing that humans are intrinsically part of the ecosystem. Taboos, codes and customs specific to activities and community members restrict access to most sacred groves. […]

The inclusion of local people’s needs and interests in conservation planning is increasingly accepted as essential, both to promote the well-being of human populations, and to ensure that biodiversity and conservation needs are met in the long-term. […]

Source: Nazir A. Pala, Ajeet K. Neg and N.P. Todaria in “The Religious, Social and Cultural Significance of Forest Landscapes in Uttarakhand Himalaya, India” (International Journal of Conservation Science, Vol. 5, Issue 2, April-June 2014)
URL: https://www.academia.edu/32265911
Date Visited: 22 May 2022

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