WILD MUSHROOMS CONSUMED AND MARKETED BY THE KHASI TRIBE OF MEGHALAYA, INDIAMarvellous B. Lynser and Ksanbok Makdoh
Wild edible mushrooms are coveted food item of the Khasis. A total of 30 wild mushroom species belonging to 19 genera and 13 families are consumed by the Khasis as food. The most representative family was Tricholomataceae followed by Cantharellaceae and Clavariaceae. Medicinal use of wild mushrooms is not so popular amongst the tribe. Of the thirty species, 16 species were found to be sold in the local markets. The field survey conducted revealed that gathering and collection of wild edible mushrooms is usually done by women and children. Commercialization of wild edible mushrooms has helped improve the livelihood of the local communities, especially the women since gathering and selling of wild edible mushrooms are mostly done by them. The study revealed that the Khasis not only possesses extensive ethnomycological knowledge, but they also evolve various harvesting and management practices to conserve this resource.
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