ETHNO TAXONOMICAL CLASSIFICATION OF LITTLE MILLET (PANICUM SUMATRANCE) BY THE TRIBAL PEOPLE IN TAMILNADU, INDIAP. Venkatesan, M. Sundaramari and R. Venkattakumar
This paper discusses about the adaptation of local cultivars of little millet in Kolli hills tribal areas in Tamil Nadu. Kolli hills of Namakkal district is in the tail Eastern ghats in Southern India with 14 clusters of villages consisting 263 hamlets. Existing tribal farming systems have been developed over many years of trial and error. These practices which may appear at first sight to be irrational, might actually be a necessary adaptation to local conditions. Kolli hills are known for traditional cultivation of Samai (Little millet), Thinai (Italian millet), Varagu (Kodo millet) and Panivaragu (Proso millet). Land races of these crop species are distributed all over the landscape. Depending upon their local agro- climatic conditions and land types, each village or zone cultivates one or two short and one late maturing varieties of little millet. Land races / populations are highly heterogeneous in terms of morphological and agronomical characters. Farmers of Kolli hills use para-taxonomic keys to differentiate between races of each species. This traditional wisdom has been discussed in this paper, which includes local cultivars of little millet viz., Sadansamai, Kattavettisamai, Thirikulasamai, Malliasamai, Perumsamai, Vellaperumsamai, Kottapattisamai etc.
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