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Title: Ethnography of Wilderness: The Sacred Groves in the Perception of the Khasi-Jaintia People
Authors: Nag, Sajal
Keywords: Sacred Groves
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Vidyasagar University , Midnapore , West Bengal , India
Series/Report no.: Vidyasagar University Journal of History;2013-2014
Abstract: In most of these earliest world religious rivers, mountains, streams, animals, ferns, trees everything was revered and diligently preserved as a part of the faith itself. But with the emergence of organized religion and institutionalization of faiths and more so with modernity and mechanization these interdependence and interrelationship were gradually eroded to the extent that ecological ethics and nature gradually was relegated into the background. Organized religion does talk of environment and its preservation but it is more as a matter or principles and rhetoric without ensuring its practice in contrast to nature worshipping faiths.1 As a result the degradation of nature has increased manifold. Despite this a number of communities still retain their ancient ecoethics and practice them. The concept of Sacred Groves is one of them. The Khasis, one of the major tribes of north east India, have been profound nature worshippers. Their faith was that right from their origin to their sustenance was dependent and directed by the nature around them. Despite adopting a new religion like Christianity during the colonial times, the Khasis still preserve these Sacred Groves both in concept and practice. In this paper first provide an anthropological detail of the Khasi Sacred Groves and how it was a part of their nature worship. In the second part it traces the way the colonial and missionary agents viewed and appropriated this pre-Christian belief and in third section it interrogates various beliefs and ideas associated with the concept of Sacred Groves.
ISSN: 2321-0834
Appears in Collections:Vidyasagar University Journal of History Vol 2 [2013-2014]

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