Coordinator: Dean's Office
Foundational Elective Graduate Course
Prof. K. Subramaniam
Coordinator: Prof. Anwesh Mazumdar
Coordinator: Dr. K. K. Mashood
Cultural Astronomy of Bhil, Pawra and Kokna tribes in western India
Sai Shetye, Astronomy Cell, HBCSE.
We report on the astronomy rooted cultural practices of three tribes of western India - Bhil, Pawra and Kokna situated in north-western Maharashtra. These tribes have their own unique connection with the sky which is influenced by their surroundings. Their astronomical lore is distinct from the astronomical lore in mainstream Indian culture, but shows a connection with other central Indian tribes. These communities determine local time, rain periods, harvesting periods, etc based on certain astronomical phenomena as well as the rising and setting of certain constellations/stars. Their level of astronomical knowledge provides interesting clues about their shared cultural roots. In this talk we will also talk about our experiences and challenges of data collection and how they led us to conclude about their astronomical beliefs.
Ms. Sai Shetye has completed her Master of Science in Physics from the University of Mumbai in the year 2019. She was a Lecturer in Kirti M Doongursee College. Since Feb 2020, she is working in HBCSE as a Project Scientific Assistant in the astronomy cell. Her interests include History of Astronomy, Developing questions for Astronomy olympiad and Stargazing.