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Article Published In Vol.6 (Nov-Dec-2018)

Ethno ecological knowledge of the Sumi tribe of Nagaland: Insects as bio-indicators of weather prediction

Pages : 1300-1304, DOI: https://doi.org/10.14741/ijmcr/v.6.6.1

Author : Alino Sumi

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The Sumi Nagas have been practising weather prediction through the behaviour of animal acting as an indicator. Similarly, prediction with the help of insect indicators were sought to be investigated and documented. This study seeks to identify and document the insect indicators through their behaviour, in predicting weather phenomena among the Sumi Nagas of Nagaland. The study was conducted in 4 villages of Zunheboto district- Sukhalu, Shiyepu, Natha Old and Natha New. Qualitative design of study was involved and data was collected through in-depth interview (IDI) and focus group discussion (FGD). Prior informed consent was taken before the process of data collection. Convenient and snowball sampling were used for the study – informants including elders, farmers, folk tellers and hunters, were selected from each village and information was collected from them. Adhering to the fact that, elders are the real custodians of traditional knowledge, all the informants both women and men were above 40 years of age. The study showcases a rich documentation of the insect indicators among the communities which they have used since time immemorial until now. This study was a tedious one as the elders were hesitant to share their knowledge and thus, rapport building was much developed to gain their trust making them understand that the study’s sole purpose was for documentation and not for other means. The study identified, listed and documented 20 (twenty) insects which were aiding the Sumi tribe of Zunheboto district for predicting their weather even in present times. However, in the event of urbanization and development, this traditional knowledge has often been sidelined and in addition, the younger generation do not pay much attention to these age-old traditions. The study also entails urgent need for documentation of traditional knowledge before it completely vanishes.

Keywords: Ethno ecological knowledge, weather prediction, Sumi, Naga, Nagaland, bio-indicators

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