The recently launched Forgotten Trails: Foraging Wild Edibles, authored by Malemleima Ningombi and Harisha RP, chronicled the foods that Soligas and Yeravas tribes forage from the forests.
About Soligas and Yeravas
- Indigenous groups Soligas and Yeravas have been living in the Cauvery Basin and the surrounding hills of peninsular India for thousands of years.
- Soligas, one of the oldest indigenous communities in the country, are the original inhabitants of Karnataka and live mostly in the Chamarajanagar and Mandya districts.
- Honey is an important part of the diet for the Soliga people, who still forage large parts of their food from the biodiversity-rich Ghats.
- They reside in the peripheral forest areas near Biligiri Rangana Hills and Male Mahadeshwara.
- They are the first tribal community living inside the core area of a tiger reserve in India to get their forest rights officially recognised by a court of law.
- Soligas use Silver cockscomb as a nutritious leafy green vegetable, as it is high in nutrients such as beta-carotene and folic acids, and has vitamin E, calcium and iron.
- Also the scientific community has named a new genus (Soliga ecarinata) of wasp after this community.
Who are Yeravas?
- The Yeravas, on the other hand, came to the state from Wayanad district in Kerala and settled in Kodagu district of the state.
- Yeravas use more tubers than Soligas.
- Language: They speak their own language of Ravula.
- Mushrooms become part of the Yerava diet during monsoons
- Issues: The food that Soligas and Yeravas depend on for survival is now affected by changes in land use and shifting policies. Worse, traditional knowledge is steadily being lost as young people are migrating out.
Q1) Where is the Biligiri Rangan Hills?
It is located northwest of the Western Ghats and on the westernmost edge of the Eastern Ghats. The unique geographical positioning and diversity of habitats make BRT one of the richest areas for biodiversity in India.The Kapila and Cauvery Rivers flow through these hills.