Out of the Forest: the products, the people, and their markets in Uttar Bastar

in Module
Published on: 14 March 2019

Arunopol Seal

Arunopol Seal is an independent researcher invested in designing and executing research that seeks to initiate social action which can bring about desirable change in people's lives.
He has worked closely with adivasi communities of central and eastern India to catalyze processes which can help them achieve their goals and change. He is associated with the Centre for Development Practice (CDP), Ambedkar University, and the Ashoka University


This module is part of a series of modules that seek to delve into the life worlds of Adivasis through the prism  of Minor Forest Produce  (MFP), to portray how these seasonal forest products organize the lives of the adivasis, and connect them to larger circuits of national and global capital.  

Amongst other things, a large part of life in Bastar revolves around leaves, flowers fruits, roots, tree saps, and insects. Unlike our lives which revolve around monetized exchange, people in Bastar organize their lives around what might be called an ethic of reciprocity. 

Mahua, lac, tendu leaf, Salbeej, tamarind,  tussar cocoons, chironjee, amchur, jamun, raar,  (frankincese) etc are all extremely important sources of income and livelihood. These modules seeks to unveil the lives of forest products from within the everyday world of the adivasis by following their journey from their origins to points of consumption both within and beyond the adivasi life world. They also aim to show how forest products connect and mediate the lives of the Bastar adivasis to the circuits of global capital.   


This content has been created as part of a project commissioned by the Directorate of Culture and Archaeology, Governrment of Chhattisgarh to document  the cultural and natural heritage of the state of Chhattisgarh.