Wisdom from the Wilderness


Painted and narrated by the Warli Adivasis of District Thane

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The fables and other stories in this book are part of the oral traditions of the
Adivasi Warlis, Koknas, Kolis and Katkaris, relating to various aspects of their life,
culture and ethos.
Kashtakari Sanghatna (or ‘Organisation of Toilers’) has undertaken to record these
narratives, reflecting the down-to-earth wisdom of a people who have long lived as
close-knit, self-governing communities in harmony with nature. By rendering the
stories in a visual and written form—both in Marathi and English—the Sanghatna
hopes to make them available once again to the Adivasi people—to help them
recover their history, indigenous knowledge and traditions.
Pradip Prabhu, founder-member of the four decade old Sanghatna, notes: “The
ethos underlying Adivasi relations with other beings, forbids the use of guile and
deception for personal profit, or taking advantage of another weakness or
disadvantage. Their native world-view goes beyond a merely tolerant philosophy
of'live and let live'. Rather, their essential ‘meta-human conviviality’ looks upon
all humans, creatures, plants and objects as intrinsically valuable and meaningful in
This English rendition aims to share the traditional wisdom of the Adivasis with
the world at large.Presently, the continued assault of ‘modernity’ threatens the very
core of the Adivasi identity and aspiration of being and becoming.While they re-
appraise their roots—and the wealth that lies in their cultural wisdom and in nature
around them—they seek the solidarity of friends and co-travellers.

Additional information


Kashtakari Sanghatna|Pradip Prabhu|Shiraz Bulsara

Year of Publication





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