INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE AND PRACTICES OF USING THE NATURAL RESOURCES IN NEPAL
The Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal is a rich country in South Asia. This country is rich in cultural and environmental geographic location that includes one of the world’s tallest mountains the Mount Everest. Nepal is also rich in biodiversity and natural resources, ecosystem including large water resources that has been included to be very useful in their people’s indigenous existence and native society who is the forefather of their cultural development.
They have more than 50 variations of indigenous nationalities that are legally recognized to have a different ways of life, folklore, customs, traditions and religious beliefs that form their heritage. Since these people lived in high rise mountainous regions they have not been included in many national policies and benefits of their nation. Although they lived long ago in the far away regions, they are the people who have maintained the conservation and biodiversity use of their natural resources, they are the ones who cultivated the lands and planted crops and trees, they took care of clean waters and animals that has been a part of their daily needs.
They are also the ones who have provided a rich water based food production diversity by distributing different egg fishes from their lakes, rivers, and ponds. These people took good care of the forest by using natural tools in hunting foods and they do not scattered or destroy the big trees and animal habitat. The indigent people are also the ones who have valued their heritage and identities through cultural preservation of their ways of life that they have practiced. For example mehawang rais indigenous people has their own ways of controlling the pest that eat their wheat and rice crops, what they are going to do is take a khira leaves and spread it all over the farm and the fragrance of the leaves will kill the pest they called chillozonoelis during their times chemical insecticide that is harmful to the body has not been explored. During their times they only use the burning process in cooking some foods but not in burning crops since they knew that it is harsh on the forest. They have also irrigated some of their crops through natural hand process to re direct rainfall in most parts of their plants and crops.
Singi Nawa are indigenous people who have largely contributed to the ecosystem, there are the Himalayans people who are engaged in forest and wildlife conservation they also control and protect the woods and trees since they find it important in building houses, crafts and other furniture. Although they do not have much academic intelligence they have took good care of the trees by scheduling their cutting so as to prolong the life of the trees that can be used by their children. They also believed that these trees have protected them during rainfall since it sip water using their long roots. Through this process they have conserve their resources in the long run and up to now their ways of living is still practiced and implemented in most communities.
Most of their indigenous people have respected the water shades by providing their environment of liter free areas so as not to harm the water and its purity, some of them believed that they will be cursed by the gods if they throw litter on their water shades, through this beliefs they have protected their waters and forest as well that results in clean environment and fresh air.
These people have made used of their practical knowledge by using the leaves as an herbal medicines; simrik crimson is used for infection and injuries cause by wild animals. They also use pongmar a kind of herb that can cure poison. This tradition is still being practiced in most villages that are far from hospitals although there are no scientific studies about their belief. Yak dung is a leaves that is sun dried for many days and naturally processed to produce alternative source of fuel.
Unfortunately their preserved culture and traditions have somehow decreasing because there are many industrial institutions that are taking place in their natural community and habitat, theme parks and amusement centers have also been established and urbanization also diminished their old houses. There are also cuttings of trees that have been found illegal and some of the industries have somehow polluted some parts of their clear waters.
The indigenous people have been moved away by the government project during early industrialization and most of all, the rapid decrease of their cultural practices in taking care of their natural resources has taken its place through artificial processes, lost and disappearance of indigenous people due to death and discrimination is therefore hard to retrieved. The globalization has occupied the life and culture of the indigenous people which displaced their country in its natural beauty.