ISBN 9789384030636,Camel Karma : Twenty Years Among India's Camel Nomads

Camel Karma : Twenty Years Among India's Camel Nomads



Westland Publications

Publication Year 2014

ISBN 9789384030636

ISBN-10 9384030635


Number of Pages 326 Pages
Language (English)

Essays & Travelogues

According to myth, the camel was created by Lord Shiva at the behest of his consort Parvati. Parvati shaped a strange five-legged animal from clay and asked Shiva to blow life into it. At first Shiva refused, saying that the miss shapen animal will not fare well in the world, but later gave in. He folded the animals fifth leg over its back giving it a hump and commanded it to get up, uth. That is how the animal got its name. The camel then needed someone to look after it, so Shiva rolled off a bit of skin and dust from his arm and made out of this the first Raika. Historically, the Raika of Rajasthan have had a unique and enduring relationship with camels. Their entire existence revolves around looking after the needs of these animals which, in turn, provide them with sustenance, wealth and companionship. When German veterinarian, Ilse Kohler-Rollefson, arrives in Rajasthan in 1991, she is immediately enthralled by the Raikas intimate relationship with their animals but also confronted with their existential problems. This is the story of the quest that follows to save aglobally unique and humane animal culture and find a place for the camel in rapidly changing India. It is a journey that is often exasperating, some times funny, but keeps revealing unexpected layers of rural Rajasthani mores. A travelogue of a sort, this book takes us deeply into the diverse cultures that make Rajasthan such a fascinating place. About the Author Ilse Kohler-Rollefson has worked and lived in Rajasthan, India since 1991. She fell in love with camels more than twenty-five years ago and has dedicated most of her professional life, as a veterinarian, anthropologist and activist to this species. In 2002, she was awarded a rolex associate award for enterprise for her efforts of saving the camel and Raika heritage, in 2009 she received the trophee de femmes of the Yves Rocher environmental foundation and in 2014 the marwar Ratna award. She is also founder of the league for pastoral peoples. Currently, she lives in Rajasthan researching and writing about pastoralists, animal cultures and sustainable livestock-keeping worldwide.