Rajbansi Festivals. Decoding Indigenous Knowledge System

Indigenous Knowledge System/ IKS and the set of local-level material apparatus are dependent upon non-adaptive domains of the folk life (>folk culture>material apparatus). Altogether non-reflective intangible part of culture (cultural values, social norms, folkways, taboo and traditional belief); reflective and tangible part (set of material apparatus) and reflective but non-tangible part (information, knowledge and traditional technologies constituting TKS) constitute the Folk Life. Here, various aspects play major influence on the issue of Folk Life, such as, mode of communication (formal and informal): firstly, with people via exchange of goods/message/women/power of word; secondly, with nature via TKS; and thirdly, with Super Nature via performances (cultural/ social/ magical/ religious/ agricultural-seasonal) during religious festivals and other ceremonies. The network so formed maintains connectivity among agrofacts, artifacts, sociofacts and mentifacts/psychofacts; and in this way, the traditional social system (again highly non-adaptive) is built up on composition of various institutions. Of various institutions in traditional social system (non-adaptive); IKS (adaptive) is generally tested in the religious laboratory of survival (religious institution). Within the traditional folk life of Rajbansi agrarian rural structure of northern West Bengal, a study has been conducted to quarry the role of their festivals in proper management of IKS as they could communicate with social system, nature and super-nature as well.