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The socio-cultural impacts of economic changes to matrilineal Garo society in Bangladesh

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An extension of the Garo hill towards south in Bangladesh along the mid-northern boundary with India is inhabited by a hill tribe called the Garo. They have a distinctive socio-economic background and culture. Their way of life has its origin in the uniqueness of the physiographic characteristics of the area which impelled them to live in isolation for long. But recently, with the initiation of different development activities in the area. A formal ban on jhum cultivation, severe deforestation, the intrusion of plainlanders and the intermingling with the latter due to improvement in transportation and communication facilities, various welfare activities of some Christian missionaries, etc. have brought about remarkable change in the socio-economic and cultural life of the Garo population. In this paper, the authors have tried to shed light on these particular issues with special focus on Modhupur sal (shorea robusta) forest area.

Keywords: matrilineal society, indigenous culture, traditional, subsistence economy, commercial production, changing trends, socio-cultural impacts, economic changes, Garo society, Bangladesh

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