Traditional Knowledge of Processing and Use of the Himalayan Giant Nettle (Girardinia diversifolia (Link) Friis) Among the Gurungs of Sikles, Nepal
Keywords:Bhangra, Gurungs, Indigenous technique knowledge, Mountains, Puwa, Subsistence farming
The Himalayan giant nettle (Girardinia diversifolia (Link) Friis) has been widely used throughout the mountainous regions of Nepal as a source of fiber (puwa) for weaving ropes, thread, porter’s tumplines, mats, sacks, and bhangra (a piece of traditional Gurung clothing). Ethnic groups such as Gurungs, Magars, Rais and Tamangs are the major exploiters of puwa fiber in Nepal. This study investigates the traditional knowledge of the processing and use of puwa fiber among the Gurungs of Sikles, in the trans-Himalayan region of Nepal. Puwa products have much cultural value for Gurungs in Sikles. Women are responsible for most of the puwa related activities and most of the woven products are used within households. Although puwa has become established as an important non-timber forest product for generating income among rural communities in the mountainous and Himalayan regions of Nepal, its economic potential has yet to be realized in Sikles.
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