During a recent visit to the State of Azad Jammu & Kashmir for a workshop, had witnessed the beautiful terrain all the way to Muzaffarabad.
On my way happened to witness the Bakarwal community.
I asked about them from the colleague of mine who is a resident of AJK. He told me that Bakarwals are nomadic shepherds who roam around the lower part of the Himalayan Mountain region of the Azad Jammu and Kashmir, in search of pastures for their livestock.
Their language is known as Parimu or Hindki being quite different from the Kashmiri and other Dogri languages.
The people are generous in nature. Sometimes they have hundreds of sheep’s in their herd which are protected by Bakharwal Dogs, an ancient working breed of dog found in these areas though there is a rapid decline of this species and it is at a verge of extinction. They also have beautiful horses which carry their basic stuff which is used for making tent and living a nomadic life.
Documenting Bakarwal Indigenous Knowledge:
They have excellent knowledge of the indigenous plants that grow within the lower region of Himalayan Mountain range. They used to trade natural herbs/shrubs in return of food.
As these people are nomadic and fast disappearing due to unprecedented climatic changes within the region. It is imperative that their knowledge of the plants/herbs/shrubs is documented along with their way of life.