With ‘civilisation’ and ‘modernity’ having made inroads into India’s tribal areas, its heritage of traditional tribal systems of medicine is increasingly under threat
Jana village is located in the Gumla district of Jharkhand. More than 90 per cent of its population is Adivasi or tribal. As such, most aspects of life here reflect Adivasi cultural and social mores.
The old residents of the village recollect that their ancestors settled in the village centuries back. Earlier, they were mostly dependent on local resources for their life and livelihood.
However, with time, modern amenities started reaching Jana. It didn’t remain isolated from the new scientific and industrial developments — be it in agriculture, healthcare or lifestyle.
Though the villagers still remember their traditional practices in agriculture to some extent, the ancestral knowledge of ethnomedicine has now been limited to only a handful of elderly people.