Ecological prudence: Life course reflection among forest dependent tribes in wayanad, Kerala
Forest dependent tribal communities have an intimate attachment to the forest and its resources from the time immemorial. Kattunayakans, one of the particularly vulnerable tribal groups who inhabit in the South Indian states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka have subsistence from forest. In Kerala they are found in Wayanad, Malappuram and Kozhikkode districts and majority of them mainly live in Wayanad district. Association of Kattunayakans with nature is closely linked to biodiversity, ethnic culture and forest based economic activities. Religious practices strengthen the integrated relation of man-nature in association with conservation based subsistence pattern. Age old socio-ecological ethical conservation norms are prevalent among them in notion of conservation for the sustainable utilization of forest resources. Through this paper, the researcher tries to uncover how the conservation based prudent subsistence pattern influence each stage of life among Kattunayakan community in Wayanad through the lens of the life-course experience among their elderly. The study also throw light towards the link between culture and biodiversity in offering ecological prudence of tribes and analyse the participatory model conservation practices implemented in Kerala. Since the present study demand an in-depth analysis, qualitative research method is adopted. The ethnographic research tools are chosen for collecting the qualitative information because the views and experiences of people on traditional conservation practices are complex and variable. Grounded theory approach is adopted to interpret the interviews because of its appropriateness for cross-cultural work, where indigenous perspectives are rarely incorporated into existing literature. The study proposes a socio-ecological model for the sustainable conservation of forest and preservation of ethnic culture.