Indian Anthropology : Anthropological Discourse in Bombay, 1886–1936 book cover
1st Edition

Indian Anthropology
Anthropological Discourse in Bombay, 1886–1936

Edited By

Lancy Lobo


A.M. Shah

ISBN 9781032074986
Published September 30, 2021 by Routledge India
172 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Indian Anthropology: Anthropological Discourse in Bombay 1886–1936 is an important contribution to the history of Indian anthropology, focusing on its formative period. It looks at the political economy of knowledge production and the anthropological discourse in Bombay during the late nineteenth century. This seminal volume highlights the much forgotten and ignored contribution of the Bombay Presidency anthropologists, many of whom were Indians, from different backgrounds, such as lawyers, civil servants, and men of religion, much before professional anthropology was taught in India. The other contributions are by pioneers from Bengal, Punjab, and United Provinces — all British administrators turned scholars.

This volume is divided into three parts: Part I deals with the six contributions on the history of the development of anthropology in India; Part II deals with four contributions on  the methodology and collecting ethnographic data; and  Part III deals with four contributions on theoretical analysis of ethnographic facts. The roots of many contemporary conflicts and social issues can be traced to this formative period of anthropology in India.

This book will be useful to students and researchers of anthropology, sociology, public administration, modern history, and demography. It will also be of interest to civil servants, students of history, Indian culture and society, religions, colonial history, law, and South Asia studies.

Table of Contents


Lancy Lobo                                                                                        


Inauguration of the Anthropological Society of Bombay, 1886:  A Vision for

Anthropology in India  

Edward Tyrrell Leith                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Part I: History of the Development of Anthropology in India


1. Anthropology in India                                                                                                             

H. H. Risley


2. Progress of the Study of Indian Anthropology in Europe, and Cognate Matters    

H. H. Risley 


3. Development or Evolution of Anthropology in India                                              

H. H. Risley


4. Study of Anthropology in India                                                                               

Denzil Ibbetson


5.  The Study of Anthropology in the West                                                                  

Jal Feerose Bulsara                                                                                                   


6. The Retrospect and the Prospect of the Work of the Anthropological

Society of Bombay                                                                                                  

Jivanji Jamshedji Modi


Part II: Methodology and Collecting Ethnographic Data


7. Importance of Collecting Facts (Presidential Address)                                           

William Crooke                                                                                                        


8. Collecting Diverse Social and Cultural Facts (Presidential Address, 1906)                       

S. M. Edwardes                    


9.      The Study of Ethnography in the Bombay Presidency                                            

R. E. Enthoven                                                                                                         


10.  The Ethnographical Survey of India                                                                                    

R. E. Enthoven                                                                                                         

Part III: Theoretical Analysis of Ethnographic Facts


11.  Totem Theories                                                                                                          

R. E. Enthoven


12.  Is the Retention of the Term Animism in Census Justified?                                       

L. J. Sedgwick


13.  The Superstition of Concealing One’s Proper Age as Shown by  the Indian

Census Statistics                                                                                                        

L. J. Sedgwick and Jivanji Jamshedji Modi


14.  Interpreting a Government House Reception from a Cultural Anthropology


Jivanji Jamshedji Modi

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Lancy Lobo is currently the Director, Centre for Culture and Development, Vadodara, India. He has earlier served as the Director, Centre for Social Studies, Surat. He has conducted extensive studies on dalits, tribals, OBCs and minorities in rural and urban Gujarat. He has authored, co-authored and edited twenty-two books.

A.M. Shah is former Professor of Sociology at the Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi, India. He has been felicitated with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Indian Sociological Society, the Swami Pranavananda Award by the University Grants Commission, a National Fellowship by the Indian Council of Social Science Research, and the Distinguished Service Award by the University of Delhi. He has been a Visiting Fellow at several universities and institutes in India and abroad and has authored and edited many books on a variety of subjects. His books and papers on household and family in India are collected in an omnibus (Delhi, 2006).