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Sacred Grove of Santals: Abode of God and Ecological Saviour

Susmita Poddar (Author)

This book deals with one of the most important social issues of tribal identity. It should be collated to their issues of survival. Now all over the world various conscious eforts are taken for biodiversity maintenance at local, regional, national or global extent. Unfortunatelu, ruthless deforestation makes serious crisis to the forest habitats of India. Mentioning this conflicting situation present study explores the unique traditional resource management system of Santal sacred grove Jaherthan. Sacred grove of the Santals mainly constitutes of sal tree (shorea robsta). They consider sal as 'the tree of life'. Nature-based traditional knowledge id the foundation of their whole cultural complex. Usually, sacred grove management includes maintenance of forest as well as biodiversity through taboos, rites, magical beliefs and magico-religious activities. The belief and rites, performed in the sacred grove, always have historical, social, religious, functional and utilitarian values in their life. Overall sacred grove culture reflects the crucial interface between ecological management and culture. Jaherthan is an important identity marker of the Santals. It is not only the abode of Santai Gods and Goddesses; it is the platform of learning nature and from this interactive sphere Santals get the social education. The Sacred Grove of Santals reviewa the ecological and socio-religious values of Jaherthan emphasizing Santali religious conviction about plant worship.

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About the author

Susmita Poddar

Susmita Poddar is a Kolkata-based folklorist having the academic background in both the disciplines of geography and folklore. She passed Geography Honors from Presidency College, Kolkata and pursued M.A. and the Ph.D. degree in Folklore from Kalyani University. Nearly last two decades she has been concentrated on extensive research works on various folk groups including diversified tribal folks. Her postdoctoral research work on the migrant tea tribes of Dooars tea fardens of Himalayan foothills area got high appreciation by the scholars of the Calicut University, the affiliating institution of the study. In her academic career, in different capacities, she has been taking part in the teaching-learning process of various academic institutions like Folklore Department of Kalyani University, CEDEC of National Institute of Social Work And Soical Science (Bhubaneswar), Folklore and Tribal Studies Department of Dravidian University and School of Folklore and Tribal Studies of Calicut Uniersity. She was awarded one-year fellowship by National Folklore Support Centre of Chennai to study 'the Sacred Groves of Santals'. This book is the outcome of this study. She is also a recipient of 2006-2008 Off-Campus Associate Fellowship of Dravidian University for the research work on Uprooted Oraons: Crisis of Identity or Survival?' At present she is actively working among the migrant tribes of the tea gardens of Jalpaiguri. She has written some books and several articles on various aspects of folklore and tribal life.

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Bibliographic information

Title Sacred Grove of Santals: Abode of God and Ecological Saviour
Format Hardcover
Date published: 19.02.2019
Edition 1st. ed.
Language: English
isbn 9789387587953
length 138p., Illustrations; 40 Plates; 28cm,