Studies on indigenous traditional knowledge of some aquatic and marshy wild edible plants used by the Munda tribe of district Khunti, Jharkhand, India.

Geetanjali Singh*, Jyoti Kumar

Abstract


Wild plants have provided an important source of food since time immemorial and even in present scenario. The Mundas are the dominant tribal community of Khunti district and are considered as the earliest aboriginals of the State Jharkhand. The Munda people are very close to nature and have hereditary traditional knowledge of consuming aquatic and marshy wild plants and plant parts viz. tuber, shoots, leaves, fruits etc. as a source of food. It is interesting to note that much of their folk knowledge is endemic. Although, these wild edible plants play an important role in rural food security, they are mostly ignored during land use planning and implementation, economic development and biodiversity conservation. Moreover, due to modernization of society and change in their lifestyle, indigenous traditional knowledge is rapidly eroding. The present paper compiles and evaluates the ethnobotanical data on about 17 wild edible aquatic and marshy plants traditionally used in various forms by the Munda tribe. The study is an effort to fulfil a part of the knowledge gap by providing data on the diversity and traditional knowledge as required for People’s Biodiversity Register. The documentation of these uncultivated and underutilized wild edible plants will make them popular and can provide an alternative, inexpensive and healthier source of food for an ever increasing population.

Keywords


Aquatic and marshy plants; Food security; Indigenous; Munda tribe; Traditional knowledge; Wild edible.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21746/ijbio.2014.02.003

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