Bhuiya - Economy



Subsistence and Commercial Activities. The main Economic activities are tuned to swidden cultivation ( kamani ) of paddy, other cereals, lentils, and vegetables. The livelihood is supplemented by food collection, hunting, fishing, and wage earning. Minor forest products, such as resin, 1ac, honey, firewood, wild creepers for rope, etc., also supplement the Economy for both trading and domestic use. There has been Recent change in the direction of permanent wet cultivation in the valleys. The cultivable land falls into several categories depending on duration of its use, water management, location, and purpose. A family generally cultivates a patch of Forest land consecutively for a period of three years, and then leaves it for ten to fifteen years, depending on the availability of forest land and demographic pressure, to renew itself sufficiently for a fresh cycle of cultivation. Pauri livestock include cows, bullocks, buffalo, goats, sheep, and poultry. The first two categories of beast are used for draft; the others are used for nonagricultural purposes, namely, as sacrifices for the propitiation of deities, as provisions for a family's own consumption and the entertainment of guests, and as resources to be sold in hard economic times.

Industrial Arts. The crafts of basket and mat making are common in the Pauri country for both domestic consumption and trading, primarily through the tribal markets.

Trade. The Pauri Bhuiyas live at a subsistence level; hence, trading activities are very limited and are restricted to products they grow on their land and some minor forest Products they collect.

Division of Labor. The family's economic and other activities are shared by able-bodied adult members. Children also assist in the domestic chores in several ways. Lighter work is generally assigned to elderly persons and the women. The women are prohibited from plowing, sowing, leveling, roof thatching, tree climbing, and hunting. Daily cooking and many other indoor household activities are women's jobs. The periodic employment of outside labor on a wage basis becomes necessary, particularly during the cutting of trees for cultivation and weeding and harvesting operations.

Land Tenure. Except for permanent paddy plots and kitchen gardens, the Pauri right to land use is usufructuary. Some virgin forest patches are controlled by the village Community. Land disputes are rare, but if one does occur it is settled through divinatory methods and collective judgment.


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