Accepted paper:

Food Processing by Rajbanshi Indigenous People of North Bengal, India


Ashok Das Gupta (University of North Bengal )

Paper short abstract:

This paper is going to focus on Food Processing by Rajbanshi Indigenous People of North Bengal, India.

Paper long abstract:

Rajbanshi social fold comprising of both caste and communities constitute 18% of total population of North Bengal, India. They are in favour of irrigation (small and broad scale), sacred grove, fencing and lattice, highland and marshland, river basins and valleys, kitchen garden, etc. They are too good with the complex production systems of crops, cereals, vegetables, rapeseeds, honey, bamboo, liquor and sugar yielding varieties, medicinal herbs, fruits, mushrooms, lichen, livestock, fish, crab, small fish, mud fish, prawn as well as fiber, silk, silk cotton, drinks, areca, betel and tobacco. They are fond of meat, milk, egg and fish. These flora and fauna are again source of fuel, fodder, natural dye, and pesticides. Rajbanshis is traditional life used to go through barter and reciprocity. Women are involved in preserving fish, paddy, fruit and milk items. In fish and paddy preservation, they use arum. Fruits are preserved in dried or as pickles. They do not waste their organic waste and use them as manure associated with ash, light trap, food-web and natural insecticides. They have developed crop rotation, legume plants and mixed cultivation. They still remember shifting cultivation and bush-fallow cultivation. Further, they have produced complex production systems involving varieties of flora and fauna (such as mango-pineapple, areca-betel nut, rice-fish, and duck-snail-fish). Alternative food sources that Rajbanshis do not put in priority are toad/frog, eel, snails and boar. They do not eat cow for religious reasons. But in traditional life, they once consumed deer, bison, buffalo, rabbit, wild birds, turtle and lamb.

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