Indigenous Knowledge, Natural Resource Management and Development (The Konda Reddi Experience)
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Indigenous Knowledge, Natural Resource Management and Development (The Konda Reddi Experience)

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Item Code: NAY710
Author: Kamal K. Misra and Kishor K. Basa
Publisher: Pratibha Prakashan, Delhi
Language: English
Edition: 2005
ISBN: 9788177021110
Pages: 314 (33 Color Illustrations)
Other Details: 10.00 X 7.50 inch
Weight 920 gm
About the Book
The present volume documents the rich indigenous knowledge, local practices of natural resource management and common property resources, and relates them to the process of development among the Konda Reddi of Andhra Pradesh, India. The Konda Reddi is one of the Primitive Tribal Groups (PTGs) inhabiting the North Eastern Ghat region of Andhra Pradesh for centuries and primarily subsisting on swidden agriculture. Even now the Konda Reddi habitat is in the midst of thick forests and on steep mountains, ensuring their close proximity with nature. The Konda Reddi - nature interaction is reflected in their rich heritage of indigenous knowledge that has been transmitted orally from generation to generation. The volume documents the Reddi knowledge of forest and forest produce, wildlife, agriculture, animal husbandry and ethno-veterinary practices, ethno-medicine, insects and flies, food and food reserves, etc. in their present form. The volume also throws light on the natural resource management and common property resources of the Konda Reddi. An attempt has also been made in this volume to relate indigenous knowledge with resource management and development among them. The volume shall be of special interest to scholars in the fields of anthropology, ethno-biology, environ-mental science, and also to the NGOs and development administrators working among the tribes.

About the Author
Kamal K Misra is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad, India. A recipient of the Utkal University Gold Medal for standing first in the M.Sc. Examination, Dr. Misra has had his academic training from Utkal University, Bhubaneswar; Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi; and the University of Kent at Canterbury, United Kingdom. He is also the recipient of the prestigious Common-wealth Academic Staff Fellowship in U.K. (1996-97) and the Fulbright Fellowship in the U.S.A. (2003-04). Dr. Misra has taught at Utkal University, Bhubaneswar; the University of Hyderabad; and at Austin College, Texas, U.S.A. He specializes in Environmental Anthropology and Ethno-biology, Anthropological Linguistics, Theory in Anthropology, and South Asian Society and Culture. He has extensively carried out fieldwork in Northeast, Central and South Indian tribal and rural communities. His publications include Anthropology, New Global Order and Other Essays (Concept, 2005), Peoples and Environment in India (Discovery, 2001), Textbook of Anthropological Linguistics (Concept, 2000), Tribal Elite and Social Transformation (Inter-India, 1994), and Social Structure and Change among the Ho of Orissa (Gian, 1987). He has over 50 research papers published in national and international journals of repute and chapters in anthologies. Dr. Misra is on the Board of Editors of Indian Anthropologist (Delhi) and Man and Life (Bidisha).

It gives me immense pleasure in placing before the scholarly world and other cultural connoisseurs the second number of our series on Intangible Cultural Heritage of India.

Ever since Robert Chamber's efforts to popularize Indigenous Knowledge (IK) in the late 1970s, anthropology and allied social sciences have geared up all their efforts to understand, document and analyze the vast repository of such culturally embedded knowledge lying dormant within the confines of many indigenous communities, all over the world. Indigenous Knowledge could be befittingly called as the intangible cultural heritage of our indigenous communities that has not only shaped up their cultural contours, but also ensured their sustainability by providing vital time-tested inputs over centuries. This volume on Indigenous Knowledge, Natural Resource Management and Development the Konda Reddi Experience by Prof. K.K. Misra therefore, is another significant contribution to the series on Intangible Cultural Heritage of India.

When we talk about Indigenous Knowledge, it immediately comes to our mind as to what this knowledge is about. In common parlance, it is the knowledge which originates locally from people, their perceptions and experiences in an environment. It finds expression through many cultural idioms of the communities, such as, stories, music, dances, and arts and crafts. It gets transmitted orally from generation to generation with new knowledge getting accumulated from time to time, keeping pace with the environmental changes. The tribal and indigenous people of India thus constitute the rich repository of such knowledge because of their proximity to nature for generations.

It is aptly imperative at this juncture to document such valuable yet vulnerable practical knowledge that forms the rock bed of sustainability of indigenous cultures and communities for three obvious reasons.

My own experience as a teacher of anthropology and a researcher of the 'indigenous' people in India for the last 28 years has persuaded me to believe that the tribal people in India and elsewhere are gradually getting alienated from their natural habitats, which were the sources of most of their cosmological beliefs, folklore, economy and livelihood, religion, magical beliefs and practices, and so on. This state of alienation is linked with the rapid process of the loss of the natural habitat due to many endogenous and extraneous forces. But what is most appalling is that with the loss of habitat, today's tribals lose their practical and paradigmatic knowledge of nature, which was developed, nourished and transmitted from generation to generation for centuries. This knowledge has helped the tribals to identify themselves with the nature, and thus its loss has created an identity crisis among them. Their knowledge of forest, mountain, flora and fauna, wildlife, insects and flies, traditional swiddening and plains land farming, herbal medicine, ethno-veterinary practices, food items and food reserves, and most importantly, the community resilience to combat natural calamities, etc. are being gradually getting redundant and lost with the loss of their habitats. This volume is a very modest attempt in the direction of documenting some of the traditional knowledge of a Primitive Tribal Group (PTG), Konda Reddis, of Andhra Pradesh in South India, before the community becomes oblivious of this knowledge. I must confess that I have not been able to document the vast and varied knowledge that Konda Reddis possess even today, when their habitat is almost devastated in many places. Nevertheless, the intention is to take stock of what is currently available with the usual constraints of time and funding, so that other scholars might add on to the inventory presented here.

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