Several small ethnic groups including the major Bangali group of Bangladesh and their colorful lifestyles have significantly enriched the entire culture of Bangladesh. For centuries, Bangladesh has been the dwelling place of different ethnic groups. In fact, 45 smaller groups of indigenous people covering about two percent of the total population have been living in different pockets of the hilly areas and as well as plain lands of the country (www.Banglaembassy.com.bh/Culture.htm). With a marked concentration of 13 ethnic groups in the Chittagong Hill Tracts [CHT], the rest of the ethnic groups living in scattered throughout the country. The existence of numerous ethnic groups has enriched the human geography of the region that exhibits cultural and social diversity.
The indigenous people live in close contact with nature and directly depend on nature for their daily living in various purposes. These dependencies make them aware and utilization of plants around them.
As a subject the Ethnobotany was first introduced in the Department of Botany, Chittagong University, Chittagong 4331, Bangladesh through Aberdeen University – Chittagong University Biodiversity Link Project in 1997 coordinate by Professor Dr. M. Atiqur Rahman from Bangladesh and Dr. Christopher Chris Wilcock from Aberdeen University, Scotland, UK. Dr. Shaikh Bokhtear Uddin was the first in Bangladesh who awarded Ph.D. in Ethnobotany from Aberdeen University through this project.
After awarding Ph.D. Dr. Uddin joined the Chittagong University in 2003. He started his career as lecturer and continued his research in the field of Ethnobotany in collaboration with Professor Dr. M. Atiqur Rahman. Dr. Uddin initially documented ethnobotanical information of about 400 plant species used by the Chakma, Marma, Tripura, Tanchangya and Murong of the Chittagong Hill Tracts’ (CHT) districts of Bangladesh. Then from 2004 Dr. Uddin supervised 13 M.S. research projects in Ethnobotany.
Ethnobotanical data have been documented from 11 tribal communities from Rangamati, Khagrachari and Bandarban districts of Chittagong Hill Tracts and Chittagong district, one tribal community of Cox’s Bazar district and a local Bengali community of Sandwip Island in Chittagong district and one tribal community of Jaypurhat district of Bangladesh. The database is an outcome of these research projects from Ethnobotanical Laboratory of the Department of Botany, Chittagong University.
The database contains ethnobotanical information of about 900 plant species. The origin, migration, culture, religion and distribution of the tribal communities of Bangladesh have also been presented. Bangladesh Ethnobotany Online Database also includes Botanical and Pharmacological dictionaries and a Dictionary of Tribal language of the CHT tribal communities.
Return from Ethnobotany Database to Homepage