Adivasis use several indigenous methods to chase away birds and forest animals which eat and destroy pulses-redgram, greengram, ground nut and grains such as jowar and maize standing crops in the Adilabad district of Telangana.
They devise instruments from scarp an material available at hand to create sounds that scare the birds and forest animals instead killing them especially wild boar and deer.
For example, they hang two steel plates side by side to tree on a tree branch in the fields, the contract creating an off- putting sound. They also create sound by hanging beer bottle and a small iron rod to a tree branch. Adivasis also beat small, empty iron drums and use slings to throw stones.
Some of these methods have been in use since time immemorial, like hanging damaged white plastic bags that of once held rice or urea to convey the impression of there being a human presence.
A scarecrow is a common enough ploy, but they also torch waste wood. They also keep the birds at bay, using a sling from the manche or shed placed in the middle of the an agriculture field.
These methods are being used to protect their standing crops from the birds and forest animals from time immemorial and this traditional knowledge passed on to the new generations from their ancestors.
Kursinge Nagorao of Chapral village in Utnoor mandal said even today they depended on traditional knowledge systems that had been transmitted down the generations and had successfully protected their pulses and grains from the depredation by animals and birds.
‘Saving the standing crops in this way is a must for the Adivasis as their fields are located in or near the forests’, he said.