The WaterBlog

“Rats are gods, shrews are goddesses”

By Luwieke Bosma, Saroj Yakami, Dikhyani and Abraham Abhishek We are in India, in the state of Madhya Pradesh. Here many people belong first and foremost to their tribal community, such as Gond or Baiga. Many of these communities live remote and secluded, some hardly participate in the society at large. They have kept their own practices, beliefs and wisdoms. Kumharra and Dhamanpani (locally called “Mars”) are 2 villages in this arid hilly tract of Madhya Pradesh. They grow paddy rice, millets, a variety of pulses and grams, and some vegetables in the monsoon season. Mainly for their own sustenance, where part of the crops is sold at the market as well, in return for items such as oil and spices. When we visited these villages and asked about rodents, and rats in particular, people reacted surprised “we have never been asked about rats before”. And the question was raised “have you come all the way to ask us about… Continued

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