FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT
ITAGAR, Feb 12: A two-day tiol semir on ‘Hunting-Trapping Culture in North East India’ began at Government College, Doimukh on Thursday.
Organized by the Department of History under the sponsorship of Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), New Delhi, the semir aimed at understanding the historical importance of hunting among the tribal people of the North East.
While addressing the students and faculties, former HoD of Anthropology, Utkal University, Professor Jaganth Dash said that the number of hunting gathering tribes in the country has dwindled to only 15, which are trying hard to survive with their traditiol mores in a rapidly developing world.
While explaining about the hunting-trapping practice prevalent in the North East, Professor Dash said that these practice could also be termed as hunting-trapping economy or foraging economy.
“The study of hunting-trapping economy or foraging economy will help in better understanding the human culture,” he said and further expressed concern over the declining number of hunter-gatherers in the world, a mere 15 percent, attributed to the rapid development and large scale destruction of forests which is subsequently affecting the hunting tribe’s dependence on it
Citing the example of the hunting tribes of Nepal and Bangladesh which are now non-existent, the professor said that the only tribe which could be termed as pure hunter gatherers are the Malla tribe of Odisha.
While speaking in context of the state’s tribes, he lamented the lack of research work done on Solungs of Aruchal. The Solungs have given a new concept of reciprocal dependence and a proper research on them ought to be made which will give new insights into the study of hunting and trapping culture, he added.
Professor Dash also gave a detailed theoretical lecture on the concept, meaning and approaches of hunter-gatherer and their kind.
In his address, Dr Tage Habung said that many tribal communities in India are forest dwellers whose lives are environmentally circumspect and despite their agricultural/livelihood based on slash and burn, are heavily dependent on forest for food, medicine and products for trade.
He said that the hunting–trapping cultures in the tribal societies of North-East India present an interesting case, since it is entwined with their cultural tradition.
The semir is proposed to understanding hunting-trapping culture among the tribal society of North East India from historical perspective by indentifying hunting-trapping traditions, role of women, adopted tools and technique, socio-religious aspects of hunting trapping tradition, he added.