Social History of Folk Medicine Practices among Rajbanshi Community of Colonial Northern Bengal with special reference to Dinajpur

in Archives, Articles


Tanmay Barman

Research Scholar
Department of History
University of Gour Banga
Mokdumpur,Malda,West Bengal

Abstract:Rajbanshis, the descendants of Koches, are living in the Terai and Brahmaputra valley of the eastern Himalaya for thousands of years. This area is a treasure house of biodiversity. Traditionally being settled agriculturist, people under this community have a vast array of awareness on the uses of medicinal plants. They inherit the knowledge of using plants for the Folk medicinal treatment of common diseases prevailed in this region. Local medicine men in their community called ojha or Mahan are expert in this form of treatment. However, present generation Rajbanshis are reluctant to their inherited knowledge and local resources of plants for therapeutic purposes. This warrants urgent documentation of their indigenous folk medicinal knowledge and conservation of the fast depleting plant resources. In this study, on the basis of archival data and secondary vernacular documents were analyzed to record Folk Medicinal knowledge of Rajbanshi people of Colonial Dinajpur region of Bengal.

Key Words:Diseases, Folk Medicine, Indigenous, Medicine, Rajbanshi, Treatment,Vernacula.