Zootherapy: Traditional Knowledge of Animal-Based Remedies among the Tangsa Tribe of Arunachal Pradesh, India

The Tangsas are rich in their traditional knowledge-based medicinal practices. They employ various traditional healing mechanisms like spiritual healing, herbal healing and zootherapeutic healing to deal with numerous health-related problems. This paper investigates the traditional knowledge of animal-based remedies among the Tangsa community of Changlang district of Arunachal Pradesh, India. The paper deals with three important areas; first, it attempts to identify some of the animal species which are useful for medicinal purposes, secondly to understand how animal-based medicines are prepared and applied, and lastly to know about different diseases that can be treated traditionally with animal-based products. The present study is based on the empirical data collected during fieldwork conducted in seven villages located in different parts of Changlang district of Arunachal Pradesh. It has been observed that use of animal-based remedies among the Tangsa community is gradually declining due to varied reasons like modern medical facilities, education, intervention of the govt., lack of resources and products, shortage of medicine experts, and so on. Thus, this study is important to document the use of animal-based remedies as part of a traditional knowledge system.