Irish Journal of Anthropology: Special issue on Adivasi identity

To read or download the special issue, click here >>

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Helping end human trafficking and modern slavery – #FREEDOMFORGIRLS

71% of modern slavery victims are women and girls. With an estimated 40.3 million people victims of modern slavery and human trafficking, that’s a lot of girls around the world who are being exploited for someone else’s benefit, or treated like a commodity, unable to leave because of threats, violence, coercion, and abuse of power.

Read the full story, view the campaign video, join #FREEDOMFORGIRLS – commit to helping end human trafficking and modern slavery herehttps://www.freedomunited.org/advocate/forgirls/

WHY NATIVE AMERICANS ARE VULNERABLE TO SEX TRAFFICKING

December 7, 2017

Native American women are some of the most vulnerable to sex trafficking in the United States according to Fronteras.  | To read the entire article, click here http://www.fronterasdesk.org/content/10912/native-americans-are-some-most-vulnerable-sex-trafficking

The National Congress of American Indians says Native Americans are one of the most vulnerable populations to sex trafficking because of the significant poverty rates, high numbers of runaway youth, and low levels of law enforcement.

One of the problems has been the lack of anti-trafficking laws on reservations. This year Navajo leaders uncovered cases of sex trafficking on their reservations, but they didn’t have a way to fight it. They have now passed a law against the crime and other tribes across the United States are following suit.

Lisa Heth from the Pathfinder Center, a refuge for human trafficking victims in South Dakota, says that cases of trafficking are severely underreported on reservations because victims fear reprisal. “They’re fearful of reporting it because of retaliation or that they’re going be blamed. In the past we know that women have come forward and they’ve even been blamed by their own family members,” […]

Accessed: 9 December 2017

[Bold typeface added above for emphasis]

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Sustainable use of biodiversity and associated traditional knowledge: Securing economic benefits for tribal communities – Kerala & Tamil Nadu

The book explores the possibility of sustainable use of biodiversity and associated traditional knowledge with economic benefit for the communities and countries that have conserved them for generations. By S. GOPIKRISHNA WARRIER | Read the full article >>

THERE is an irony related to biodiversity and economics. Communities that live in close contact with biodiversity-rich forests are economically poor, whereas people who live in biodiversity-poor urban centres and make commercial use of the biological resources are economically rich. To stretch the theory further, biodiversity-rich tropical countries are usually economically poor, whereas developed industrialised countries, which use biological resources to manufacture industrial products, are rich. […]

A trek with Kanis

There were far more questions than answers. The Jawaharlal Nehru Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute (JNTBGRI) in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, entering into an agreement with the Kani tribal people of the Western Ghats was one of the efforts taken to work out a benefit-sharing model with the conservers of biodiversity and associated traditional knowledge. Scientists of the JNTBGRI discovered the energy-giving qualities of the fruit of a plant called “Arogyapacha” (Trichopus zeylanicus) during their trek into the forests in 1987 for an ethnobotanical survey with elders of the Kani tribe as guides. Even as the scientists panted as they climbed the steep slopes, the tribal elders showed no signs of fatigue. The reason for this, they found out, was “Arogyapacha” fruits they consumed.

An agreement was worked out between the Kanis, the JNTBGRI and a private company Arya Vaidya Pharmacy Ltd (AVP), to bring this biodiversity product and the associated traditional knowledge into greater public use by developing a commercial drug called Jeevani. The JNTBGRI scientists identified and isolated 12 active compounds from the fruit and filed two patent applications on the drug. […]

A trust fund, with nine Kanis as trustees, was established in 1997.

The benefit-sharing arrangement, however, went through some chaotic phases. The Forest Department had reservations about declaring Arogyapacha a minor forest produce, for fear of its over-exploitation. There was a lack of unanimity among the Kani people about their understanding of the benefit-sharing and the trust arrangement. Then there were the complexities relating to who owned the resource and the traditional knowledge and whether the plant was growing on private or government land. […]

The Nagoya protocol

Also, the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing, an offshoot of the CBD, came into force in October 2014, mandating countries to enact laws to protect these elements. The protocol aims to facilitate access to genetic resources and share benefits from their commercial use with the communities in an internationally acceptable manner, which has legal certainty and transparency.

Interestingly, India had most of the elements of the Nagoya Protocol as part of its Biodiversity Act of 2002. Thus, it has much of the framework required for commercialising biological diversity and associated traditional knowledge in a sustainable manner. […]

Srivastava’s conclusions and recommendations may not be the last word on the subject as it is constantly evolving. But, his effort to comprehensively include in the book all aspects of access and benefit sharing will certainly enable managers, researchers, activists and representatives of the indigenous community to negotiate better deals in the future.

S. Gopikrishna Warrier is an environment journalist and blogger.

Source: Frontline, May 27, 2016 (Accessed 2 December 2017)

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A fictionalized account of the intellectual property rights (IPRs) discussed above has been published in 2017:

I am very happy to share with you the link to my third Intellectual Property law thriller, The Dravidian – God’s Own Tribe, which is now available on Amazon Kindle. The novel is loosely based on the traditional knowledge case of the Kani Tribe from the Western Ghats. Link to my novel: https://www.amazon.in/Dravidian-Gods-Tribe-Legal-Thrillers-ebook/dp/B076TG5MH9

If you are able to read the novel, I will look forward to your kind feedback/review.

Source: email dated 2 December 2017 from Dr. Kalyan C. Kankanala

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International Museum Day celebration (9 December 2017): “Santal Culture and Tradition in the Modern World” – West Bengal

On the occasion of 4th Museum Day
(অৗরিচৗলি রৗখি জগাও মাহা দিশৗতে)
Ghosaldanga Bishnubati Adibasi Trust and the Museum of Santal Culture
Present

Celebration of Santal Culture and Tradition

(সান্তাল অৗরিচৗলি উৎসব)
on 9th December 2017 at 3 pm, at Museum of Santal Culture, Bishnubati, Birbhum

Chief Guest

Prof. Tone Bleie, Dept. of Sociology, University of Tromso, Norway
Head, The Scandinavian-Santal Heritage Initiative (SSInherit)

Guests of Honour

Dr. Doneshwar Manjhi, Head, Dept. of Santali, Visva-Bharati, Santiniketan
Prof. Kumkum Bhattacharya, Dept. of Social Work, Visva-Bharati, Santiniketan
Dr. Maroona Murmu, Dept. of History, Jadavpur University, Kolkata
Prof. Ranjit Kr. Bhattacharya, Former Director, Anthropological Survey of India
Mr. Ram Kisku, Eminent Santali singer, Dogachi, Dakhin Dinajpur
Prof. Sanchayan Ghosh, Kala Bhavana, Visva-Bharati, Santiniketan

Highlights of the Programme

• Presentation of new items in the museum and their presentation
• Talk on the ‘The Importance of Santal Culture and Tradition in the Modern World’
• Solo songs with instrumental accompaniment  of six major  festivals  (Baha, Sorhai, Eroh, Harier Sim, Jathar and Dasai)
• Rarely performed Santali Songs -Balaya sereng, Jawai/Bahu eger sereng, Gai jagao sereng
• Rarely performed Santal dances: Baha, Dom don, Karam, Danta don, Dasai, Sarpa eneh, Chadar badani
• A photo exhibition on Santal life and culture captured during 1900s and in the present century.
• Santali traditional musical programme

Contact

Ramjit Mardi-8670244810; Bimol Baski- 8116142104; Bhabini Baski-9932250251 and Boro Baski- 9002188716
Email – <borobaski@gmail.com> and <bams.sec@gmail.com>
 (An Interaction session with Prof. Tone Bleie will be held with the Research scholars, Faculties and the persons interested on Santal Cultural Heritage, at the Department of Santali, Visva-Bharati, at 3 PM on 8th December 2017. For detail contact- Dr. Dhoneshwar Manjhi, Head, Dept. of Santali. Ph-9475849919)
Source: courtesy Dr. Boro Baski (by email)

 

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Adivasi Adivimb: “Celebrating the rich cultural heritage of tribal art forms: Adivasi, Arunachala Pradesh, Assam Adivimb festival (December) organized by the National School of Drama” – Odisha, Arunachala Pradesh, Assam & Tripura

A three day festival of tribal dance music and theatre organized by national school of drama. Various performances associated with different regions were performed such as

  1. Ghumura – Odisha
  2. Adi solung dancers – Arunachala Pradesh
  3. Mishing bihu and gumrag – Assam
  4. Hozagiri dancers – Tripura

Source (accessed 2 December 2017): http://meraresult.com/IAS_Prepration_detail.aspx?id=294

Simple and spontaneous | Read the full report by Sharmila Basu Thakur in The Telegraph, January 14 , 2017 >>

The National School of Drama, New Delhi, organized Adivasi Adivimb, a three-day festival of tribal dance, music and theatre (December 27-29) at Dwaronda village, Santiniketan. The programme – conceived by eminent theatre personality, Ratan Thiyam […]

The festival, in its fourth year, is an initiative taken by Thiyam to contribute to the growth of tribal art and culture across India. It provides the artists assembled from different corners of the country with an opportunity to interact and exchange ideas amongst themselves.

The festival featured tribal art from states like Assam, Odisha, Manipur, Bihar, Jharkhand, Meghalaya and Madhya Pradesh. Apart from this, Santhali groups from Birbhum also participated with great enthusiasm. The Chhau dance of Jharkhand was grand, while the Ghumura of Odisha was rhythmic and spontaneous. The Adi-Solung dancers from Arunachal Pradesh, with their stunning costumes and jewellery, put up a lively performance. Several kinds of Mishing Bihu and Gumrag of Assam were also put on. The distinctive stylistic approach of the Hozagiri dancers of Tripura was notable. […]

***

Adivasis: India’s original inhabitants have suffered the most at its hands | Read the full report in Scroll.in here >>

Their presence in India pre-dates the Dravidians, the Aryans and everyone else. Yet they have no political power and most of them live below the poverty line. […]

Tribal people, accounting for 8.2% of India’s population, are spread all over India’s states and union territories. Even so, they can be broadly classified into three groupings. The first consists of populations who predate the Indo-Aryan migrations, and are termed by many anthropologists as the Austro-Asiatic-speaking Australoid people. The Central Indian adivasis belong to this grouping. The other two groupings are the Caucasoid and Sino-Tibetan or Mongoloid tribal people of the Himalayan and North Eastern regions who migrated in later periods.

Article 366 (25) of the Constitution defines scheduled tribes as “such tribes or tribal communities or part of or groups within such tribes or tribal communities as are deemed under Article 342 to the Scheduled Tribes for the purposes of this Constitution”. The criteria for classification being geographical isolation, backwardness and having distinctive culture, language, religion and “shyness of contact”.

Scheduled tribes are found in the greatest numbers in Madhya Pradesh (12.23 million, or 20.3% of the state’s population), Maharashtra (8.58 million or 8.9%), Odisha (8.15 million or 22.1%), Jharkhand (7.1 million or 26.35%), Chhattisgarh (6.16 million or 31.8%), Andhra Pradesh including Telangana (5.02 million or 6.6%), and West Bengal (4.4 million or 5.5%).

By proportion, however, the populations of states in the North East have the greatest concentrations of scheduled tribes. Thirty one per cent of the population of Tripura, 34% of Manipur, 64% of Arunachal Pradesh, 86% of Meghalaya, 88% of Nagaland, and 95% of Mizoram are scheduled tribes. Other heavy concentrations are in Dadra and Nagar Haveli, and Lakshadweep (94%).

Still, if a headcount is done, the overwhelming numbers are in Central India. […]

A popular Gond song goes:

“And the Gods were greatly troubled/ in their heavenly courts and councils/ Sat no Gods of Gonds among them. / Gods of other nations sat there/ Eighteen threshing-floors of Brahmins/ Sixteen scores of Telinganas/ But no Gods of Gonds appeared there/ From the glens of Seven Mountains/ From the twelve hills of the valleys.”

Source: Adivasis: India’s original inhabitants have suffered the most at its hands
Address: https://scroll.in/article/773759/adivasis-indias-original-inhabitants-have-suffered-the-most-at-its-hands
Date Visited: Mon Nov 06 2017 11:26:57 GMT+0100 (CET)

V. B. Ganesan reviews Kuldeep Kumar’s The Untold Story of Tripura’s COIN Campaign  | Read the full review in The Hindu >>

The Northeast presents a complex picture, where stunning natural beauty combines with ethnic violence and insurgent movements. From Assam to Tripura, the region of the Seven Sisters has become a hot topic for strategists and social activists, who have debated on how to bring about normality and connect the region, emotionally and physically, with the rest of India. […]

Tracing the roots of unrest, Kumar points out that Tripura’s tribal population, which stood at 52.89 per cent in 1901, came down to 31.8 per cent in 2011 with the influx of refugees during Partition and again after the liberation of East Pakistan/ Bangladesh. As a result, many tribal people lost their land and were reduced to working as landless labourers. […]

However, charting out the path ahead, Kumar says that despite various positive developments, much remains to be done to uplift the economic status of the tribal people and improve their access to quality education, health, sanitation, drinking water and physical infrastructure. In this respect, he also points out that the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous Development Council is an extremely important institution geared towards fulfilling the aspirations of self-administration by tribal people. He also cites the highly visible role of women in the fight against insurgency. […]

[Bold typeface added above for emphasis]

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  • Learn more on the “National School of Drama” here: Govt. of India, NGOs and international >>
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