A state shaped by tribal civilization: “Look how deep into time these manifestations of culture go” – Jharkhand


The cultural mosaic of Jharkhand was dreamt about, shaped and polished by generations of communities, which have inhabited this land since time immemorial. From the legendary Asurs and Santhals, to the Banjara, Bihor, Chero, Gond, Ho, Khond, Lohra, Mai Pahariya, Munda, Oraon, Kol or Kawar-over thirty-two tribal groups (28 % of the total population of the state), have left their impression on the culture of the region. And with them, were the cross-cultural influences of local non-tribal communities and successive waves of Buddhism and Jainism, Mughal rule and the reign of the Hindu emperors of Bengal. Art historians ascribe the ‘oldest cave paintings‘ in India, the “scroll paintings” to a Jharkhand tribe known as the Shabars, who today live on the edge of extinction. It is an established fact that Stone Age tools discovered in Hazaribagh district and axes and spearheads found in the Chaibasa area, are remnants of a civilization dating back a few thousand years. 10,000 to 30,000 years old rock paintings, paintings in huge caves in the Sati hills and other indicators of ancient, even pre-historic, human settlements are found in profusion. […]

Jharkhand is full of surprises. Archeaologists have unearthed pre-Harappan pottery, and pre-historic cave paintings and rock-art, that hint at ancient, cultured civilizations inhabiting these parts. Who exactly were the original settlers of Jharkhand? We will never truly know. But one look at the intricate woodwork, the pitkar paintings, tribal ornaments, stone carvings, dolls and figurines, masks and baskets, will tell you how deep into time these manifestations of culture go, how the well-spring of creativity continues to recharge the spirit of the tribes and the state itself. […]

Date accessed: 11 December 2017

Anumeha Yadav, scroll.in, November 01, 2017 | Read the full report >>

Palamau forest department officials say they plan to relocate more than 600 Adivasi families from the reserve voluntarily. […]

Inhabitants of seven other villages in the reserve received similar letters.

The letter baffled everyone in Gopkhar, a hamlet of Nagesia Adivasis, classified by the government of India as a Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group, with the smallest population among all Adivasi communities in India. They pointed out that it was the government that had resettled them in Gopkhar in the first place decades ago. […]

The court also asked the state government to carry out what it called the “re-allocation” of eight villages – Gopkhar, Pandra, Vijaypur, Kujrum, Latu, Ramandag, Henar, Gutuwa – as per the “Voluntary Village Re-allocation Package”, under which each relocated family is entitled to a payment of Rs 10 lakh as per norms set by the National Tiger Conservation Authority.

Sanjay Kumar, Jharkhand’s principal chief conservator of forests, said: “We will relocate eight villages from the core area of the reserve. This is being done in tiger reserves all over India, and Palamau has lagged behind.” […]

Under the Forest Rights Act, forest dwellers cannot be relocated without their claims to forest land being settled first. However, inside the Palamau Tiger Reserve core area, even where the rights of inhabitants on homestead land is recognised by the government, their claims to forest land, essential for their food and livelihood, were rejected in most instances. […]

Dhaneshwar Oraon, a frail elderly man, said that decades earlier, forest officials had brought his family and other Adivasi families to Pandra inside the Betla forest to perform what he called “forced labour”. He said they were either not paid at all, or were paid as little as Re 1 a day.

Source: https://scroll.in/article/854452/as-jharkhand-attempts-to-stem-decline-in-tiger-population-in-state-adivasis-fear-second-uprooting
Date accessed: 11 December 2017

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