This book explores the discipline of social-cultural anthropology through an extensive study of the Nicobarese people in one of the remotest human settlements of the Indian Ocean. It examines the social, cultural, economic, political and magico-religious beliefs of the Nicobarese, and traces their ritualistic upbringing from conception till after death. The book also discusses the nature-man-spirit complex observed in the life of the Nicobarese.
The author further utilises this study to examine the complex role of anthropologists in maintaining objectivity and authenticity in ethnographic accounts, and discusses several critical epistemological issues concerning social-cultural anthropology as a field of study today.
Based upon extensive field research by the author conducted over four decades, this volume will be of great interest to scholars and researchers of sociology and social-cultural anthropology, human geography, social sciences, minority studies, as well as South Asian studies.
Table of Contents
1. My Admission to the Discipline of Anthropology 2. My Initiation into the Discipline in The Land of Wizards 3. Living the Life of a Nancowrian 4. Nature: Coconut and Forest Economy 5. Nature: The Sea Economy 6. Man: The Tribe, the Lineage, the Village 7. Man: The Family 8. Man: As Individual: ‘At the Axis of Self’ 9. Spirit-world and the Sacred Complex of the Nicobarese
Vijoy S Sahay is Professor (Emeritus), and Former Head, Department of Anthropology, University of Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, India.