ETHNOZOOLOGY-5-1

Ethnozoology

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by Dr. Neelima Bagde(Author)

ISBN Number : 978- 1-73034- 201-1

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Dr. Neelima Bagde

Dr. Neelima Bagde

Ethnobiological knowledge is very ancient in India. Ethnobiology describes how people of a particular culture and region make use of indigenous plants and animals. Tribal communities are mainly the forest dwellers who have accumulated a rich knowledge of forests and forest products over centuries. Ethno–zoology focuses at direct relationship of animals to mankind. The term ′Ethnozoology′ as a branch of science that deals with role of economically important animals in life and socio–cultural aspects of tribal or aboriginal peoples. The most important aspect in this context ramifies on traditional mode of treatments of various kinds of elements using animals and animal products in tribal community. Although inadequate, attempts have been made to elucidate medicinal significance of animals and animal products in certain tribal communities from the Indian subcontinent, Jamir and Lal (2005). Faunal resources have played a wide range of roles in human life from the earliest days of recorded history. The variety of interactions between humans and animals is the subject matter of ethnozoology –the branch of ethnobiology that investigates the knowledge human societies have accumulated concerning animals, as well as their significance to those people and their uses. Ethnozoological studies can be a valuable asset to increase our understanding of the cultural, economic, social, and traditional roles of played by animals, Alves (2012). It is estimated that more than 300 million indigenous people live in more than 70 countries in habitats ranging from Artic to the rain forests of Asia. China and India together have 150 million indigenous tribal people. Over 53 million tribals belonging to 550 tribal communities representing 227 linguistic groups inhabit the Indian subcontinent. At least 5000 indigenous groups can be distinguished by linguistic and cultural differences and by geographic separation. These tribal populations depends the local vegetation for food, shelter and curing most ailments. The wide range of ecotypes or cultivars of crops existing within these under exploited or less modernized tribal form offers a solution for the erosion of genetic diversity also. The tribal communities are spread over varied geographical regions and climatic zones of the country. Their way of living varies from hunting–gathering, cave dwelling nomadics to societies with settled cultures. They live in a symbiotic relationship with the forests and so in harmony with the ecosystem. A central point of all local health traditions of the tribals and their practitioners is their independent and self–sufficient nature, Padmnabhan and Sujana (2006). Ethno–zoology is the study of animals, insects, etc. of a particular culture, usually an indigenous culture in a non–western society. Ethno–zoology is part of ethnography which is the study of any particular culture somewhere in the world. Occasionally this specialization is called zoo–archeology. The archaeological aspects are to us the route to seeing which birds, bees and other creatures were important to the classic maya, Flaar (2008).