‘Rantak’: Perishing indigenous wisdom of cold arid Region of Ladakh

Kumar, Parveen ; Lamo, kunzang ; Namgyal, D.

Abstract

The present study done in four purposively selected villages of district Leh in the union territory of Ladakh documents the perishing indigenous technology of cold arid Ladakh, a water mill used to grind grains. The traditional water mill of this region, locally known as the ‘Rantak’ or ‘Churak’ is used for grinding grains of different crops and vegetables. Driven by fast moving water usually coming or made to come from a height, the Rantak serves the people in grinding cereals like barley, wheat, buckwheat and vegetables like pea, broad bean etc. The mill is made by the villagers having expertise in this by using locally available materials. Unfortunately with the passage of time, a few of them are left in the region and among those left many are non functional. The present generation does not know much about these. The indigenous wisdom of the people of the region is now perishing and the technology is on the verge of extinction.

Keyword(s)

Extinction; Grains; Grinding; Indigenous Technology; Rantak

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