Every culture has its narratives and beliefs that seek answers to the intricate and abstract questions about the universe and the place of man in it. And every culture and its different communities have evolved their survival strategies. These have become repository of human experience.
In Himachal Pradesh, people experience ‘Nature’ in its benign as well as formidable mood. Their view of life is rooted in their folk environmentalism and their folk traditions are ingrained in recasting the religious and philosophical interpretation of human relationship with the natural world in simple everyday forms. It is an unspecified, unwritten commitment towards the source of life, a reiteration of man’s inability to comprehend the forces of nature-both non-human and super-human.
Environmental problems are generally conceptualized as problems of physical systems and concomitantly, solutions to these are sought through scientific analysis. But somewhere between ecology as science and ecology as a living discipline there stands another field-that of folk wisdom. It posits the need to look back for affirmation of deeper human relationship with the earth.
This book is an effort to depict the folk traditions-be it of the tribals or nontribals-and to see its strength and weakness so that a new mythology emerges in which the synthesis of the modern and the traditional its achieved. The book discusses the folk traditions through which the people learn to respect and conserve the ecology.