Ritual Plants Used by Indigenous and Ethnic Societies of District Banswara (South Rajasthan), India

Rajasthan is one of the largest states located in the North-western part of India. The southern part of Rajasthan state comprises of a large population of tribal communities belonging to various ethnic groups. The tribal community believe that some Gods and deities can be welcomed by some special plants or their parts. So they conserve some plant species due to the traditional ritual ceremonies. These forest dwellers live in forests and possess a vast knowledge on various aspects of plants. An extensive survey of a few tehsils of Banswara was documented to the traditional knowledge of plants used by tribal communities. Tribals like Ninama, Nanoma, Damor, Garasia, Bhagora, Charpota, Singada and Katara are residing in the area. These people have strong traditions, cultural activities, beliefs, taboos, totems, performing religious rituals and valuable information about properties and medicinal uses of plants. Different parts of plant (roots, stem, leaves, bark, fruits, seeds, bulb, etc.) or the whole plant/herb is used for the said purpose of rituals and ceremonies. In this study deals with the documents of 36 plant species used by the rural people of South Rajasthan in ritual ceremonies are reported. Out of 36 plants studied, 31 species belonging to dicotyledons and 05 to monocotyledons, under 32 genera being used traditionally by the tribals.

Author(s): Shafkat Rana, Dilip Kumar Sharma*, PP Paliwal

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