Online Journal of Anthropology

Volume 17, Number 2, 2021

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Mορμώ δάκνει… Morde il babau! Gli spauracchi femminili della Grecia antica. Storie di donne e di dolore

by ALESSANDRA ROMEO

Unconscious fears and the desire to fix specific patterns of behavior find their natural outlet in the myth: Lamia, Empusa, Mormolice, Mormò, Accò, Alfitò and Gellò are unmarried female figures, without children and not subject to male authority. These figures find themselves in an almost subversive position of reality, threatening existing social structures: they become monsters, bogeywomen for children, a symbol of the evil darkness that feed on the fear of those who believe in them. The purpose of the study is to analyze the connection with the historical context of belonging, through reading of ancient literary sources, to identify the causes that have determined their creation and development over the centuries.

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Beltrami’s Cradleboard and Other Stories. Beltrami’s is the Oldest Preserved Dakota Cradleboard in the World

by SANDRA BUSATTA

This is an updated version of the article “La culla di Beltrami e altre storie”, published in Italian in 1991. The Beltrami Collection, made up of the objects he brought back from his travels, has been divided for a long time: a part was kept at the Museum of Natural History E. Caffi in Bergamo, Lombardy, and a part was at Luchetti House in Filottrano (Ancona, Marche). Only very recently the two parts have been reunited in Bergamo: it constitutes the earliest group of objects from Minnesota in Europe. I believe that the pieces divided between the Beltrami collection at the museum “E. Caffi” in Bergamo and the Luchetti collection in Filottrano form a single artifact, that is, a cradle of the type called “cradleboard”, of which only the parts decorated with porcupine quills exist today. The cradleboard was collected in 1823 by G. Costantino Beltrami probably near Fort Snelling (ex Fort Anthony) among the Eastern Sioux, probably the Santee Mdewakanton who had their village in Kaposia, very close to the fort and represents the most ancient specimen of Santee Sioux cradleboard currently preserved.

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Small-Scale Tea Economy and Arsla Organic Tea Cooperative A Grassroots Initiative of Khasi Tribes of Meghalaya, North-East India

by ABDUL HANNAN and NITISH MONDAL

This paper is an attempt to explore the Small-Scale Tea Economies in North-East India. Of late, it is seen that most of the tribes in the North-East have engaged into tea cultivation. As per the Tea Board of India (2019), there are 110,422 Small Tea Growers (STGs) spread over 47 districts in the region. The ‘Arsla Organic Tea Growers and Producers Cooperative’ model was innovated by Khasi Tribes of Meghalaya way back in 2013 with an objective to improve their scale of operation into processing and marketing. In 2020, a global pandemic affected their production and marketing channel due to their inexperience in the tea industry and particularly marketing. The Sub-Regional Office (SRO) of Tea Board of India has also failed to strengthen their extension services to the Cooperative.

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Human Behaviour during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Observations from India

by ATANU GHOSH and FATIK BARAN MANDAL

COVID-19 has changed the everyday life of the human being worldwide with an unprecedented threat. Although medical science has a crucial role in combatting the disease, concerted efforts incorporating the knowledge from social and behavioural sciences are also vital to mitigate the COVID-19 induced crisis. The actions of individuals, groups and the state play a significant role in alleviating the COVID-19 crisis. In this connection, we have analysed human behaviour from various contexts: individual, social, and policy-making levels. Evidence from news media, different blogs and published articles are analysed for this purpose. We have identified both positive and negative behaviours of a human being during this pandemic. On the positive side, we could see the sense of togetherness and building up solidarity. Some negative behaviours were also observed, where some people acted selfishly to maximise their utility without thinking about society. Such negative behaviour led to a ‘social dilemma’ state and created negative externalities to the community. The analysis suggests that selfless individual and collective behaviour will be an instrument for effective responses to combat the pandemic.

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Nutritional status of lactating mothers: a study among the Ahom women of Lakhimpur District, Assam

by AVIJIT BORUAH

Women are generally susceptible to under-nutrition, especially during pregnancy and lactation period. Effective pregnancy and lactation require changes in the body for the proper functioning of various physiological systems. As such, the nutrient requirement of the body increases during these periods. Poor health and nutritional insufficiency in mothers’ during these periods will lead to poor secretion of nutrients in the breast milk, and this may have long-term detrimental impact on the child’s health. During the lactation period, the nutritional and health status of the newborn child depends on the mother. Hence, health and nutritional status of the mother during this period becomes all the more essential. In the present study, an attempt has been made to assess the health and nutritional status among the Ahom lactating women of Lakhimpur District, Assam.

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A Comparative study of anthropometry and body composition among male athletes and non athletes of age 18-26 years of Kamrup (M), Guwahati, Assam

by DHANMANI MEDHI and MOMON HIJAM

The purpose of this study was to describe the anthropometric characters and body composition between athletes and non athletes as well as to make a comparison between them and to assess the nutritional status through BMI. A total of 120 males were enrolled in the study, which were divided into 4 groups of 30 individuals each i.e., (football players, basketball players, volleyball players and healthy sedentary subjects). The results indicated that basketball players were taller and heavier than the rest of the group, while the volleyball players have long arm span and greater bicristal breadth, and the footballers have greater biachromial breadth. The findings of the present study may be useful for future investigation or may serve as a reference standard player selection and training programme development programme.

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Prevalence of Undernutrition Based on Thinness among Birhors of Korba District, Chhattisgarh, India

by DHANSAY, SARVENDRA YADAV and A. N. SHARMA

The rising/ escalating problem of malnutrition, commonly envisioned as double burden due to increasing rate of both under-nutrition and obesity in third world including country like India in which high prevalence of undernutrition, which is assess by thinness more precisely. Thus, the present study aims to assess the prevalence of under nutrition among Birhor tribe of three villages of Korba district, Chhattisgarh, India. The data was collected from each available individual of the households of the villages on the day of investigation. The social and demographic profile was personally collected by interviewing them and the anthropometric measurement (height, weight, BMI and MUAC) was taken using standard procedures. All the statistical analysis was analysed in the Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) version 16.0. The t-test and Chi-square/Fisher Exact test were used to see the difference in anthropometric measurement and undernutrition of males and females. The study revealed that sex combined prevalence of thinness was found higher among children (86.6%), elderly (70%) and adult (58.2%) population than normal. The over-all age and sex combined prevalence of undernutrition is 64.2 % (of which 21.1% were came under grade III thinness, 10.1% were fall within grade II thinness and 33% were in grade I thinness) and 35.8% were normal. No statistically significant sexual difference (χ2 =0.86, df = 3, P>0.05) was found among them. The high prevalence of undernutrition shows their critical nutritional situation.

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Immuno-Nourishing Early Cultures: Re-Evaluating Temple Rituals During Covid Pandemic

by FRESNAL DAS, ANIL JOSE P S and RAJU, S.

People from different walks of life responded differently to coronavirus, with some completely unaware, while some lost their life. The pressing question in this context is, how humans, as a species, can be ready to combat pandemics like that of covid-19. That question as answered by many on a global scale, is, boosting the immunity of the people. This paper, with the help of scientific studies conducted in different locations by different researchers are used to evaluate a collective framework of such immune nourishing behaviours empirically, as it is appealed under Hindu customs. Research evidence from different fields of study with direct or indirect bearing on the study topic is considered; to understand whether there exists any support for the nurturance of a behavioural immune system. The Hindu temple and the ritualistic behaviors that happen amidst prayer was the foundation of the study. Absence of research evidence to yet say that prayer has any significant and direct health related benefits is considered, while the fact that no study has yet considered the effect of prayer on a holistic scale remains. Research evidence available is compiled and a step-by-step narrative, straight from the time period the devotee wakes up to the culmination of the prayer in the temple is provided. Some studies just focus on the nature of materials employed, while some, on the rituals or adapted forms of the same, while some, on the ambience alone.

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Association between Obesity and Blood Pressure with certain lifestyle as risk factors among Chiru Males of Northeast India

by HOSEA THANGLEN and LORHO MARY MAHEO

Hypertension and obesity are among the most prevalent non-communicable diseases, which significantly and independently increase the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases causing high morbidity and mortality worldwide. It has become the most neglected blatantly visible health challenge, reducing the overall quality of life. The study was an attempt to investigate the prevalence of hypertension, general obesity and to determine the lifestyle risk factors for hypertension among the Chiru Male of Manipur. The results indicated that BMI and blood pressure were significantly associated and among lifestyle factors, physical activity and smoking have the most substantial influence on hypertension.

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Menopausal Transition and Women Health: A Study among the Mid-life Women of Kolkata, India

by SOHELI GUPTA, JOYEETA THAKUR and MONALI GOSWAMI

Women’s mid life through and after menopause is associated with somatic problems like obesity, loss of skeletal muscle and bone mass, cardiovascular diseases and hyperglycemia. The present study is an endeavour to understand the impact of menopausal transition on cardio vascular risk factors and musculoskeletal system among the 160 Bengali speaking Hindu mid-life women of Kolkata, India. Statistical analysis like bivariate statistics was applied to compare the body compositions and clinical variables between peri and postmenopausal participants. Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curve analyses were performed to identify the discriminatory power of the obesity indicators. And to assess the determinants of hypertension and diabetes, multivariate logistic regression analysis was applied. Result showed that significant (p<0.05) peri-post menopausal differences existed in percent body fat (PBF), fat mass index (FMI), conicity index (CI), skeletal muscle percentage (SMP), bone mass (BM) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP). PBF (r=0.24) showed positive but SMP (r= -0.46) and BM (r= -0.37) showed negative association (p<0.01) with increased chronological age. Area under the curve (AUC) found BMI (0.91) and CI (0.91) as the best indicator (p<0.001) of obesity among the perimenopausal participants and PBF (0.93) and FMI (0.93) among the postmenopausal participants. Thus, it can be concluded that the the menopausal transition phase brings changes in blood pressure, blood sugar level, SMP, BM and also in the overall and central adiposity markers.

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Prevalence of Menopausal Symptoms among Rural Bengalee Women of North Bengal, India

by MANJU SARKAR and NITISH MONDAL

Background: Menopause is an important part of a woman’s reproductive life, most of them spend the last third of their life-time after their reproductive period ends, and can cause different awkward side effects. Conclusion: This study showed that the prevalence of menopause symptoms includes hot flashes, body ache, irritability, hypertension, difficulty in sleeping, joint pain and vaginal dryness were observed to be prominent symptoms.

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Born Twins: Fascinating Fact Of Nature

by PAVAN TERDAL and JAI PRABHAKAR S. C.

Although twins born are occurring in all societies, its study continues to fascinate just because, we are not sure about the reasons for its occurrence. Therefore, right understanding of its typology, factors responsible for twinning, monozygotic and dizygotic multiples, occurrence and their distribution become prime requisite for the study. Early studies and statistics available direct us towards genetics and environment’s role in the existence of above phenomenon. So, where does the answer lies, is it in either of them or is it their combination responsible, which is the need of hour in study of human variation.

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Nutritional status and parental socio-economic conditions among the adolescent boys and girls of Sombaria village of West Sikkim, Northeast India

by PRIYASHREE GOGOI and MAIBAM SAMSON SINGH

Adolescence is a nutritionally vulnerable developmental stage. The nutritional requirements of the body during the adolescent stage increase tremendously due to rapid physical and mental growth. Poor nutritional status can make an individual susceptible to various health problems. The objective of the present study is to examine the nutritional status and its associated socio-economic factors among the adolescent boys and girls of Sombaria village, West Sikkim. Data was collected from 100 adolescent boys and 100 adolescent girls aged 12-19 years through random sampling method. The study shows the higher prevalence of underweight among the adolescent boys (42.00%) than adolescent girls (26.00%). The prevalence of overweight/obesity was higher among the adolescent girls (15.00%) than adolescent boys (8.00%). The higher frequency of overweight/obesity was found in the middle-income group among the adolescent boys (15.38%) and higher income group among the adolescent girls (17.39%). There is a significant association between various socio-economic conditions with the distribution of different BMI values. The factors influencing nutritional status must be identified and understood in order to develop the best strategies to eradicate the prevalence of underweight and overweight.

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Covid-19 Riddle Exacerbating Gender (in) Equalities

by SUJATA DAS, SUMITA SAHA, NITISH MONDAL and AMLAN KANTI RAY

There are clusters of evidence of gender-based violence (GBV) have been happening across the world for more than a year or so due to the effects of restricted movement of people due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It turns out that women specially Health Care Workers (HCWs) per se are being victimised owing to ‘paradoxical effects’ on account of intermittent lockdown culminated into encountering Intimate Partner violence (IPV). In this article, the authors elucidate a comprehensive picture of both GBV and IPV of countries irrespective of Global North and South through a medical sociological analysis of woman HCWs and other innocents women in the household domain by evidenced based interpreting the publication history, retrieved from the PUBMED, and Google search engine between 1930 and early 2021, covering a large number of developed and developing countries. The article also critically analyses the pattern of violence-specific digitised rescue system including building temporary shelters for rescued victims with the support of the respective government agents and NGOs. This present comprehensive picture of both GBV and IPV in workstation and household level can assist restructuring the fruitful dialogue amongst the policy makers around the world to re-programme the gender norms for the benefit of women.

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Stunting and its association with predictor variables among Tibetan adolescent girls of North India

by SHWETA SINGH, NEELAM SINGH and GAUTAM KUMAR KSHATRIYA

There is a dearth of cut-offs of neck circumference (NC) to define central obesity among pre-hypertensive adults. Primary aim is to find the association of NC and waist circumference (WC) among pre-hypertensive adults and to find optimal cut-offs of NC to predict central obesity among pre-hypertensive adults. The present cross-sectional study was conducted among 666 adults (aged 20-49 years) belonging to the Bengalee Hindu Caste Population and residing in West Bengal. Height, weight, WC, NC and blood pressure were measured. Linear regression analysis was performed to find the association of NC and WC. Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curve analysis was performed to yield optimal cut-offs of NC for predicting central obesity among pre-hypertensive adults. NC and WC showed a strong correlation among both pre-hypertensive adult males (r=0.732) and females (r=0.748). The optimal cut-offs of NC to define central obesity among the subjects were ≥37.1 cm for males and ≥33.8 cm for females. The area under curve (AUC) was .755 for males and .779 for females. NC can be used as an alternate anthropometric measure to define central obesity among pre-hypertensive adults.

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Attitudes towards Menopause and Menopause related symptoms: A cross sectional study among the Mising Tribal women of Majuli River Island, India

by PARISMITA SAIKIA

The main aim of the present study is to understand the attitudes of Mising menopausal women toward menopause and menopause related symptoms. For the purpose of the study, Majuli, one of the greatest river islands in the world is selected as the study area. The present study is a cross sectional study carried out among 500 Mising tribal women age ranging from 40-55 years. Purposive sampling method is used to collect the data. To investigate attitudes towards menopause the investigator prepared a checklist for collecting data by following the checklist of Neugarten, 1963 and Bowles 1986, Borah, 2017 and Saikia, 2020. Mean age at menopause in the present study is found to be 46.70±3.32 years. Most women were unaware about the occurrence of menopause or menopause related problems and takes the attainment of menopause negatively. But some proportion of women takes the attainment of menopause as a positive thing. Menopausal symptoms are very important in attitudes towards menopause in women. Some severe symptoms can lead to negative attitudes. In such cases it is very important to make some plans for evaluating menopausal symptoms and controlling them

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Health Care system among the Gond Tribes of Tarandul village, Chhattisgarh, India

by OINAM HEMLATA DEVI and RAHUL TIWARI

Health care system in India provides the facilities of public and private sectors. The services of public sector are mainly accessible to all. Tribes of India in majority rely on traditional medical practices, whereas public hospitals or services are mainly available at primary health care services level. This study is an attempt to understand the health care system available to the Gond tribes of Tarandul village, Chhattisgarh focusing on the ethnomedical practices present among them and to analyse the viewpoints of the people of the Tarandul village to modern health care system. Methodologically, different methods of ethnography such as participant observation, in-depth interviews, and case studies were used through two immersion processes in 2019. The health care system present in the village is mainly based on magico-religious treatment and herbal medicine. Modern medicine started intervening on some of the diseases however; the region is facing a major problem in accepting the modern medical system.

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Health, social life and impact of COVID-19 lockdown: A case study among the BPO employees in Gurugram, India

by PRITAM DAS and VIVEK NEWARC

The majority of the International BPOs in India function at night. Working on the night shift ends up in serious health issues like sleep disorder, musculoskeletal discomforts, eye strain etc. The job stressors also significantly impact social life, and the COVID-19 lockdown in India had an adverse effect on all the sectors. This study aimed to identify the health risks and job stressors during the post lockdown period and give insights into the overall health and stress levels of the BPO employees. The study includes 400 employees from five BPO companies of Udyog Vihar Gurugram, India. Responses were collected through an online questionnaire categorised into four parts viz, demographic parameters, health parameters, social parameters and job stressors during post lockdown. Descriptive statistics were calculated; frequency and percentage values had also been described. Primary health-related issues in BPO job are: Sleep deprivation (76%), Eye problems and headache due to prolonged computer use (88%), Musculoskeletal discomforts (80%), Acidity, constipation etc. (76%) and considerable weight gain (62%). Major social issues include not getting leaves during festivals (68%), disruptions in family and personal life because of the job (80%). The job stressors during post lockdown are, facing demanding customers (70%), Erratic/graveyard shifts (88%), high target (90%), difficulties maintaining physical distancing, handwashing and facemask wearing (95%), fearing getting infected with COVID-19 (86%). Periodic health assessments at the workplace, adding sufficient breaks, and setting up recreational areas may help curb these reported issues.

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Socio-demographic correlates of psychological morbidity: A community based cross-sectional study among the rural elderly of North 24 Parganas

by SAMARPITA DEBNATH

Psychological and physical health are influenced by a battery of socioeconomic, behavioural and psychosocial determinants. The purpose of this study was to look into the sociodemographic factors that influence psychological health among the rural elderly aged 60 years and above residing under the jurisdiction of Charghat and Machlandapur II Gram Panchayat in North 24 Parganas, West Bengal. All the elderly were approached for voluntary participation. Finally, 408 people agreed to participate in this study, of which 193 were males and 215 were females. A pretested questionnaire, containing information on age, sex, religion, marital status, education, occupation, monthly household income and living arrangement was used to obtain socio-demographic data. Uday-pareek socioeconomic status scale was used to determine socioeconomic class. Age (80 years and above), sex (female over male), financial dependency and socioeconomic class significantly predicted the occurrence of somatic symptoms, anxiety and insomnia, social dysfunction and severe depression among the studied elderly. Sociodemographic factors, like, age, sex, occupational status and socio-economic class, played a substantial role in psychiatric morbidity among the older persons in the rural study area of West Bengal.

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Sex Variation of Chronic Energy Deficiency among Adult Asian Indian Indigenous Population: A Systematic Review & Meta analysis

by SARNALI DUTTA, SADARUDDIN BISWAS and SAMIRAN BISAI

The nutritional status of an adult individual is significant for the better upbringing of their future generations. Notwithstanding, the nutritional status of the adult tribal population of India is not palatable. Consequently, an endeavour has been made in this review to get an impression of overall chronic energy deficiency (CED) and sex variation of CED among adult tribal population of India as assessed by Body Mass Index (BMI) less than 18.5 kg/m². Study was selected through literature search following standard protocol. The Meta-analyses were performed by MedCalc statistical software version 20. A total 41954 sample from 140 studies published during 2000-2021 on nutritional status among 82 tribal communities, including 30 particularly vulnerable tribal groups (PVTGs) from 21 states and union territories have been considered for the present analysis. Out of the total, 124 and 91 studies have been accounted for male and female nutritional status. Pool analysis indicates overall prevalence of CED among males and females were 44.9% and 49.1%, respectively. It was estimated that around 28 million (13 million male and 15 million female) tribal population to be undernourished as of 2011. According to the WHO classification of severity of malnutrition, the rate of CED in both PVTG and non-PVTGs adult tribal population of India is very high, indicating critical situation. Therefore, urgent nutrition supplemental programme may be implemented especially for PVTG female considering their culture and food habits.

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Skinfolds, Behavioural and Socio-economic Risk Factors in Hypertension among the Hill and Valley Tangkhuls of Manipur

by URAPAM ZIMIK and H. SOROJINI DEVI

Hypertension is a medical term used when blood pressure is higher than the normal level. It is a major cause of mortality in underdeveloped, developing, and developed countries causing a significant public health problem. This study investigates hypertension-associated risk factors among the Tangkhuls in Manipur. The cross-sectional study was conducted among randomly selected 590 Tangkhul males (350 of hill and 240 of valley). The ages of the participants ranged from 20-80 years. A pre-tested schedule was used, which consisted of height, weight, 6 (six) skinfold measurements, blood pressure, behavioural and socio-economic parameters. Anthropometric and blood pressure were measured following standardized procedures. BMI (Body Mass Index) in kg/m² was computed, and fat mass was derived from six skinfold measurements. Statistical methods viz., t-test, Chi-square test, and multivariate logistic regression were applied. Results indicated that the valley population had higher mean values (P<0.05) in weight, skinfold measurements, indices, and blood pressure and a higher prevalence of hypertension (P<0.05) compared with the hill. Among the skinfolds, abdominal skinfolds showed the highest mean values. Multivariate logistic regression analysis indicated that hypertension was independently associated in both hill and valley Tangkhuls with age ≥50 (OR =4.34 and 2.12), smoking (OR =4.05 and 6.01), and risk FMI (OR =7.50 and 17.88), respectively. Age ≥50 years, smoking, physical inactivity, and risk FMI were independent risk factors associated with hypertension.

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Anthropometric Somatotype among the Adolescent Boys of a Tribal Population in India

by NUTSOLU LOHE, THEJAZHANO NAGI, NGARANMI MAREI AND VIVOTO TSUKRU

This study aimed to determine the somatotype and BMI, as well as investigate the somatotype variations in relation with age and BMI among the adolescent boys of Mising tribe. A cross-sectional sample of 278 adolescent boys was collected from five villages of Dhemaji district of Assam, a state in northeast India. Body mass index (BMI) was calculated for each subject. Heath-Carter method of somatotyping was employed to evaluate the somatotype characteristics of Mising adolescent boys. Descriptive statistics for all the ten anthropometric measurements employed in somatotyping show increasing trend with age. The mean BMI was found to be 18.37 kg/m2. The mean somatotype of the individuals was 1.46-3.81-3.3. Our findings showed mesomorph-ectomorph as the dominant type among the Mising boys. The somatoplots of mean somatotypes fall in the mesomorph-ectomorph at age 10+ to 15+ years, and from age 16+ to 18+ years the somatoplots were distributed in the ectomorphic mesomorph category. The age-wise comparison was tested using t-test. Results revealed that BMI values were found gradually increasing with age. Significant variations were observed in endomorphy and ectomorphy. Endomorphy tends to increase with age whereas ectomorphy tends to decrease with the advancement of age in a fluctuating pattern. Somatotype variations in relation with BMI presented significant values.

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Ethnomedicinal plants and associated traditional wisdom of Garo community of Rongram, West Garo Hills District, Meghalaya, India

by WORREL KUMAR BAIN and SHILPA BISWAS

The study of ethno medicine concerning any community is a complex or convoluted method in and of itself. The present study recounts the Garo community’s traditional knowledge of medicinal plants, which they employ in some secluded enclaves of northeast India. The current investigation, which was conducted using standardized anthropological methods and conversations with the local people and traditional healers, resulted in the documentation of sixty-one therapeutic plant species which are used to manage the primary health care practice of the Garo community at the Rongram Community and Rural Development Block (C & RD) of West Garo Hills District of Meghalaya, India. The Garo people used various underground plant forms as medicine, including roots, leaves, rhizomes, and barks. The study emphasizes the value of ethnobotanical research and the importance of documenting traditional wisdom related to therapeutic plant consumption for the more comprehensive welfare of humankind.

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Revisiting Bhagavad Gītā in the light of Reeds’ Self-transcendence theory

by ANAND SADASIVAN

Human beings are susceptible to suffering caused by physical pain and mental perturbations. Various coping strategies and psychological techniques seem to improve resilience to transcend physical pain. Among various nursing theories, Pamela Reed’s’theory of Self-transcendence focuses on the holistic wellbeing of an individual. The philosophical and spiritual tenets integrated by Reed in her theory connect an individual to the society and to a higher spiritual entity. Bhagavad Gītā is a principle work of Indian Philosophy that impart lessons on Self-transcendence and universal wellbeing. Current study facilitates a reflection of Reed’s’theory of Self-transcendence and compares its various percepts with the philosophical discussion of Bhagavad Gītā.

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A Study on Religion, Religious Specialists, and Place of Worship among the Tengapania Deoris of Assam, India

by ARIFUR ZAMAN

Religion is one of the strongest binding forces that play a significant role in the socio-cultural life of the people for the maintenance of cohesion and continuation of the society. Rites and rituals are an integral part of every belief system. Places of worship, the sacred performances, and the performer or religious specialist occupy a pivotal place in day to day life of the people of complex as well as simple societies. The Tengapania Deoris are one of the scheduled tribes of Assam, India, who are Hindu by religion but have their parochial belief system. The term Deori itself means priest. Balia baba is their supreme God and the place of worship is known as Balia Baba Than or than ghar. For the sacred performances of than ghar they have their priests who occupy an esteemed place in their socio-religious universe. The Deoris are unique amongst the other ethnic groups of Assam regarding the religious belief system which is continuing amidst the strong influences of mainstream religions. In this present endeavor an attempt has been made to know about the unique religious features of the Deori religion in the rural context of Assam.

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Living Megalithic Traditions of the Karbis in Assam

by MILONJYOTI BORGOHAIN and DHRITIMAN SARMA

Megalithic tradition is a living tradition in the world and Karbi of Assam is one of the few communities who has kept this tradition alive. So far, in Assam, other than their own Karbi Anglong district, a large numbers of karbi pockets are found in Assam, especially in the districts of Kamrup, Nagaon and Morigaon. In these villages, they are usually assimilated to the Assamese culture by language, but have kept their other traditions alive. So, based on the fieldworks in certain pockets of Karbi inhabited areas, this paper has been made where the concept of erection of megaliths has been found through primary data collection.

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Perception of Health and Illness: Reflections from Gond Tribe of Chhattisgarh

by HARSHDEEP SINGH DHANJAL and K. K. N. SHARMA

Health is an inevitable component of human life and a major characteristic for well being and overall social development. It is influenced by common beliefs, customs and practices in any society an individual lives in. Like every culture, tribals as well have their own belief and practices pertaining to health, disease and illness. In fact, every society has its own perception of health, illness and medical culture for treatment of the sick. Tribals, while living with the forests since long have acquired an unwritten form of knowledge (popularly known as indigenous or traditional knowledge) which is orally transmitted from one generation to another. The interaction of tribal people with nature is intertwined with their indigenous knowledge, the knowledge which is held by the members of a particular community evolved through many years of regular experimentation. It serves the routine needs of the tribals as well as crises situation of life including health. This knowledge helps tribal people to sustain with their needs of day to day life including their health. The study tries to explore the perceptions of health and illness of the Gond tribe of Chhattisgarh and their existing use of ethnomedicine and ethnomedical practices.

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Parental socioeconomic conditions and prevalence of overweight among Nepali adolescent girls of Sikkim, Northeast India

by MAIBAM SAMSON SINGH and DUKA DEVI CHHETRI

Obesity is evolving as a major public health problem. The present study was conducted to see the prevalence of overweight with different socio-economic conditions of parents. Data were collected from Nepali adolescent girls aged 10-16 years from different villages of East Sikkim, West Sikkim and South Sikkim. The prevalence of overweight was calculated based on z-scores BMI for age and sex. Present study shows that the prevalence of overweight was higher in early adolescent (22.4%) than mid adolescent (20.2%). The frequency of overweight was higher among girls from high-income family (23.4%), whose mothers (22.8%) and fathers (22.7%) attained primary education. Adolescent girls whose mothers (24.2%) and fathers (25.0%) are government employees also show higher prevalence of overweight. In conclusion, there are positive association between the prevalence of overweight and parental socio-economic conditions. Inequalities in socioeconomic conditions may differ in the availability and access to good nutrition and health care facilities.

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Sexually Transmitted Infections in Arunachal Pradesh

by TAILYANG SIRAH and HAOBIJAM VOKENDRO

In the epidemic era of HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are one the most common identifiable health challenges globally. The paper attempts to take account of and understand the incidence of sexually transmitted infections (and HIV/AIDS) in Arunachal Pradesh, the largest state in North East, India. The study reveals high STI cases in the state; and the districts recorded the high cases of STIs includes West Kameng (781 cases), East Siang (7113) and Changlang (642 cases) in 2012-13 and Papum Pare (683 cases) and West Kameng (593 cases) in 2013-14. All this reflects the deficit of knowledge for protecting and preventing oneself from these preventable STI cases. The study underscores the importance of promoting knowledge and awareness of STIs and particularly of HIV/AIDS amongst the youth of the state.

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Acculturation, Adaptation and Change: An Anthropological Study on Inter-Caste Relationship in a Tribe Caste Village of North India

by POONAM TRIPATHI

“The soul of India lives in its villages” rightly said by Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation. This article provides a microcosmic study of a North Indian village and aims to explore the relationship between tribe and caste in a village with a mixed population of tribal and non tribal groups. It focuses on the gradual change of attitude and tradition of the tribals towards the unending competition race with the non tribals, which has led to the partial adaptation to the traditions of non tribals which resulted in acculturation and detribalisation. The present paper is also an attempt to produce a functional analysis of the solidarity and inter dependency between tribals and non tribals and the ways in which they live together harmoniously in a tribe-caste village.

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How food is Symbolised in the ancient Hindu texts

by JAI SHARMA

Food can be taken as an important linkage to understand the various connections and meanings behind the complex and intricate rituals or be used as a commemorative symbol for some incident or story. In this research, an attempt has been made to study some of the symbolic meanings of food in Hinduism. Secondary research method was used, and various text and research papers were studied to find out the various symbolic references of food, and how they were interpreted and presented by other researchers. Finally, a conclusion was drawn upon how these various interpretations are closing in on the actual symbolism of food and how it is being represented as, in cultural context. Analysis on how myths and religious stories may lead to the introduction of certain food habits and cuisines that sticks around for the years to come, how the various foods and customs blend in together seamlessly to create the matrix of the relations and customs in the institution of religion.

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The Knowledge, Attitude and Practices Regarding Menstruation and Menstrual Hygiene among Adolescent Girls in Prayagraj

by BABITA GUPTA and KETAKI CHANDIOK

Menstruation is a biological phenomenon that occurs during the adolescent phase of life. During this period many bio-cultural elements contribute to the personality development in adolescent girls. The present study delineates these attributes under three broad themes namely knowledge, attitude and practices. A cross-sectional study was carried out among 32 adolescent girls in Prayagraj district in the state of Uttar Pradesh in India. A comprehensive questionnaire was prepared using “Google Form” and sent to all the participants through various social messenger apps. Collected data was analyzed using the SPSS software version 23. Based on study analysis it was found that the 62.5% respondents had good knowledge and 68.75% girls followed safe menstrual hygiene practices. There were 59.37% girls that showed positive attitude towards menstruation and associated issues. Thus the findings revealed that majority of girls living in Prayagraj were aware of menstruation and menstrual hygiene practices.

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