Elephants and tigers – recurring motifs and issues for India’s tribal communities


Photo: Bastar tribal art – courtesy Museum Rietberg Zuerich

The tribals I was told about are elephant people. As far back as any one can remember, they have taken care of elephants. They understand elephants as no one else does. They grow up with elephants, and the elephants with them. – Edward Rice in Mother India’s Children

Some tribal communities inhabit regions where wild animals abound. Where conservation measures have helped to restore elephant and tiger populations, as in the Western Ghats, this has met with international acclaim. Yet shrinking habitats have also led to an unprecedented increase in the number of man-animal encounters, not seldom with lethal consequences:

Adivasi elders tell us that they walked among the elephants without fear 50 years ago. Those days are long gone. Read more >>


Tiger stamp (2010)


For a perspective on these issues, see Tiger conservation and tourism – its impact on the people in and around the tiger reserves >>


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