Patterns of plant use in religious offerings of Odisha
The study was conducted within the course of two years (2016-2018) to explore the indigenous knowledge and traditional utilization pattern of plant species for the worship of the goddess Durga in coastal districts of Odisha, India. This article aims to document traditional methods of use of plant species which provides new insights and opportunities for sustainable and multipurpose use of resources and offers contemporary strategies for preserving cultural and ecological diversity. The information was gathered from literature as well as field-collected data and interviewed informants. Altogether 53 plant species belonging to 31 families and 49 genera are recorded. Roots, stems, leaves, inflorescence, seeds, and fruit are the most commonly used part for the worship of the goddess Durga. Most of the plants have curative properties. These plant species have been instrumental for indigenous people in providing substantial livelihood support. The present study may be used to motivate the general public to cultivate, preserve, and judicious utilization of such important plants for the conservation of nature and ecological research.
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