The Making of a Village examines the social and cultural life of indigenous peoples in India. It unfolds intimate aspects of Adivasi history such as the birth of a village, its demographic formation, forging of social relations, in- and out-migration, and the dialectics of the village as a socio-physical space during precolonial and colonial periods.
Drawing on oral, archival and empirical data from eastern India, it highlights the interconnected themes of inflection of identity; the change of the Adivasis from historic agents to colonial subjects and their arcadia to a servile landscape; and the indigenous notion of state. It also initiates a dialogue between the past and present to bring into sharp relief ideas of village community, indigeneity, migration, governance, colonialism, agency, subjecthood, rural change, environment and ecology.
Redefining the study of rural sociology in South Asia, this volume will be of great interest to scholars and researchers of modern Indian history, politics, development studies, sociology, social and cultural anthropology, Adivasi and indigenous studies, and South Asian studies.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction 2. Telling the Story: Text and Beyond Text 3. Birth of a Village 4. Weaving the Demographic Pattern 5. Story of In- and Out-Migration 6. Governance of a Village 7. The Changing Rural Landscape 8. Concluding Remarks
Asoka Kumar Sen taught history from 1965 to 2002 at Tata College, Chaibasa, West Singhbhum, Jharkhand, and retired as a professor. He is presently an independent researcher of Adivasi history and editor of the Journal of Adivasi and Indigenous Studies. He was awarded a brief fellowship at the Department of Sociology, Delhi School of Economics, New Delhi, India. He also worked as a researcher for the University of Sussex, UK, on the British Academy project entitled ‘The East India Company and the Natural World: Environment, Innovation and Ideas at the Core of the British Empire’. His published works include The Educated Middle Class and Indian Nationalism (1988), Bengali Intelligentsia and Popular Uprisings 1855–73 (1992), Wilkinson’s Rules, Context, Content and Ramifications (edited, 1999), Representing Tribe: The Ho of Singhbhum during Colonial Rule (2011), From Village Elder to British Judge: Custom, Customary Law and Tribal Society (2012) and Indigeneity, Landscape and History: Adivasi Self-fashioning in India (2018).