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Year: 2009


xxi+258 pp

ISBN: 9788175414402 (HB)

Price: $28

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About the Book

In the Decade of Behaviour 2000-2010, the book explores the life and profession of a western Himalayan pastoral community, the arung zet sa of Kanaor, catering the essential needs of society such as milk, clothes, and meat. It visualizes a happier world for these marginalised sections of the society and sets a new qualitative trend, a synthesis of the reverent man-nature relationship rooted in the Indian ethos and the modern understanding of animal behaviour. This challenge has various dimensions ranging from material to non-material, which touches socio-ecology, indigenous technology, animal husbandry, evolutionary psychology, and spiritualism.

About Author

Professor Raghubir Singh Pirta, a psychologist with special interest in animal behaviour and ecology, teaches at the Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla. He has been associated with the pioneer environmental movements in the Himalayas, the Chipko Movement and the Save Himalaya Movement. The Gandhian social workers engaged in these movements infused in Dr. Pirta a deep sense of humanistic approach. But his theoretical insights refined in several brief sojourns to the Center for Ecological Sciences, I.I.Sc. Bangalore. Dr. Pirta began his studies on the naturalistic behaviour of monkeys in the nineteen seventies, and later expanded it to sheep and goats. During the course of these researches he had first hand encounters with the grassroots social issues involving man and nature, which is exemplified in his recent book Ecology and Human Well-being: Nature and Society in Himachal Pradesh (Shipra Publications).


Foreword by H.C. Negi (I.R.S.)
List of Boxes, Figures and Tables

1. Global and Regional Scenarios
Cognitive and Social Responses/3; Scenarios of Pastoralism in Himachal Pradesh/9; Livestock Development and Research/15; New Perspectives on astoral Life/22

2.The Himalayan Dilemma
Of Greater and Little Traditions/28; Pastoral Identities/32; Appraisal of Human Competence/38; Paradigms of Study/44

3. Harmony and Conflict Over Resource Use
Changing Biosphere and Noosphere of Himalayas/55; Case Study 1: Nako Village, A Cultural Heritage/59; Case Study 2: Dark Night in the Sutlej Valley/61; Harvest of Sheep and Goats/65; Pastures: Harmony and Conflict/75; Survival of Migratory Trails/84

4. Resilience of Social Bonds
Explanation and Generalization of Behaviour/96; Formation of Bonds/100; Testing Bonds/106; Affection in Primates/110; Songs of Love and Misery/115; Unsafe Environment for Pastoralists/126

5. Lessons from Naturalistic Life
Uncertain Knowledge/133; Evolution of Values/140; The Greater Knowledge/144; For Common Good/157

6. Life of Arung Zet Sa: The Pastoralists of Kanaor

7. Biological Aspects of Pastoralism
Taxonomy/185; Behavioural Taxonomy/187; Reproduction and Lamb or Kid Rearing/189; Health and Diseases/195; Biotechnology/200

8. Traditional Institutions of Pastoral Well-being
Village Deities/206; Three Himalayan Villages/214


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