Pullian: The traditional Pangwal snow shoe

Harminder Singh, Puneet Kumar


Background: Traditional knowledge has played a vital role socio-economic development of rural and tribal regions of the world. The new era technical knowhow coupled with traditional knowledge is paying way to sustainable use of natural resources. This study aimed to document the traditional art of making Pullian from wheat grass which finds its origin in one of the remotest tribal valley in the cold deserts of the Great Himalayas.

Methods: Data was collected from nine major villages in and around Sechu Tuan Nalla wildlife sanctuary (STNWLS). In each village nearly twenty members of the society comprising of both elderly and young population were interviewed for the art of Pullian making and its potential role in socio-economic development of the region. 

Results: The results showed that people of villages in and around STNWLS over hundreds of years have developed unique methods to survive in this harsh and remote region of the world. Pullian, a kind a feet covering or a shoe is made by the people of Pangwal tribe inhabiting these villages. Apart from using Pullian for household use, this unique type of shoe is also used by the locals to walk on snow during the winters.

Conclusions: The present paper is an attempt to bring to light the immense potential of traditional knowledge of tribal people. This art of shoe making from wheat grass by the Pangwal tribe inhabiting in and around STWLS, Pangi, Chamba, Himachal Pradesh, India can potentially contribute in setting up of small scale, non-polluting, agro-based household industries in the region. Thereby, helping in raising the per capita income of the tribal people.

Keywords: Triticum, Pangi, ethnobotany, agro-based, Sechu.


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