Indigenous People and Forests Perspectives of an Ethnobotanical Study from Rajasthan India

S.S. Katewa

Abstract The state of Rajasthan has a sizable tribal population existing in the still surviving deciduous forests of the Aravalli and Vindhyan ranges. Though having undergone varying degrees of change, a substantial population even today can be seen thriving in primitive conditions with preserved traditions. Of such groups, the Bhils are the largest, followed by Garasias and Damors. The Kathodias and Sahariyas are still sociologically not very well known. Living close to nature, the tribals have acquired unique knowledge about the properties and uses of wild plants, most of which are not known to the outside world. Until a decade ago, nothing was known about the ethnobotany of the tribes of Rajasthan. Exhaustive field work in tribal villages with a macro-level perspective brought forth interesting revelations from the panorama of their lives. The present work highlights useful ethnobotanical information about the uses of wild plants by the tribals of Rajasthan as food, medicine, veterinary medicine, material culture, etc. This folk wisdom, if subjected to scientific scrutiny, could benefit humankind in many ways.

Keywords Ethnobotany • Rajasthan • Tribals • Indigenous knowledge

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