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Ethnic Knowledge on wild Dioscorea by the Baiga tribe of Achnakmar-Amarkantak biosphere reserve, Madhya Pradesh & Chhattisgarh

Sutanu Lal Bondya*
Botanical Survey of India, Central Circle, Allahabad

 Received 8th August 2007; Revised 13th September 2007

Abstract: Wild edible plants play a significant role in the sustenance of rural life in Baiga tribe of the Biosphere reserve. Indigenous people with historical background of traditional resource utilization and management possess a vast assemblage of various knowledge systems on the complex behavioral pattern in relation to the ecological systems existing in their own localities. Baiga, a group of Central Indian tribes found in Achnakmar-Amarkantak Biosphere Reserve (Maikal hill ranges which is the junction of Vindhyan and Satpura hill) has a traditional knowledge base transmitted from generation to generation. They acquired a sound knowledge on the various aspects including uses of cultivated crops and their wild allies. They use a wide array of wild Dioscorea for food. In this paper, an overview of the classification of these wild Dioscorea and their Ethnobotanical uses by these indigenous people are summarized. A good relation exists between the folklore etymology and taxonomic epithets of all the wild Dioscorea of the locality.

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