The Center for People’s Collective (CPC)

Jaani, The Sacred Buffalo Of Nanda Gaoli Community

Jaani, the Sacred Buffalo of Nanda Gaoli Community – Biocultural Diversity of Nanda Gaoli Pastoralist Community of Maharashtra

– Ajinkya Shahane , Prafulla Kalokar , Sajal Kulkarni and Sushma Iyengar

Jaani, the Sacred Buffalo of Nanda Gaoli Community – Biocultural Diversity of Nanda Gaoli Pastoralist Community of Maharashtra

Nanda Gaoli, a traditional semi-nomadic pastoralist community of the Indian state of Maharashtra rear the beautiful Nagpuri buffalo which they refer fondly as the Gaolao buffalo. The Nagpuri buffalo breed do not produce as much milk as the Murrah or Jaffarabadi buffalo breeds. However, they need not be fed as much as the cross breeds and are easy to maintain with very little inputs. The Nanda Gaoli community has many unique and interesting traditions and customs. In addition to the many rituals and festivals that are similar to the mainstream society, a few are found to be observed only by the Nanda Gaoli community. For instance, the Bhaladev festival, the festival of grass, grasslands, and grazing cattle in the forests (Kalokar and Siripurapu, 2020) and the practice of devoting cattle or buffalo to God as the sacred animal. A buffalo that is devoted to the God is considered holy and fondly addressed by the Nanda Gaoli people as “Jaani”.

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