In India as elsewhere, peripheries have frequently been viewed through the eyes of the centre. This book aims at reversing the gaze, presenting the perspectives of low castes, tribes, or other subalterns in a way that amplifies their ability to voice their own concerns.
This volume takes a multidimensional perspective, citing political, economic and cultural factors as expressions of the autonomous assertions of these groups. Questioning the exclusive definitions of the Brahmanical, folk and tribal elements, the articles bring together the empowering possibilities enabled by three recent theoretical developments: of anthropologies questioning the fringes of mainstream society in India; critically engaged histories from below, which problematize subaltern identities; and a conceptual emphasis on everyday ethnography as an arena for negotiations and transactions which contest wider networks of power and hegemony.
This book will be useful to those in sociology, anthropology, politics, history, study of religions, minority studies, cultural studies and those interested in social development, and issues of marginality, tribes and subaltern identity.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1. Nisad of the Ganga: Playing with the notions of margin and centre Djallal Heuzé 2. From History to Heritage: Adivasi Identity and Hul Sengel Dan Rycroft 3. On entering the remote area: Recent German anthropological research in western Orissa Georg Pfeffer 4. The history of the royal family of Bonai: Texts, centres and authorities Uwe Skoda 5. Village festival and kingdom frame: Centre and periphery from a Porajâ village point of view, southern Orissa Raphaël Rousseleau 6. The poly-culture of Mahima Dharma: On ascetics and Shamans in a new religious movement of Orissa Lidia Guzy 7. Gonasika, a tribal sacred place and a Hindu centre of pilgrimage Cécile Guillaume 8. The Billavas of Karnataka and the Santals of Orissa: Two peripheries asserting their position towards the center Marine Carrin 9. Towards a comparison of traditional centre–periphery relations in two regions on the west coast of India: Saurashtra and south Kanara Harald Tambs-Lyche 10. Brahmans of the Pariyas, peripheries in quest of identity Alexis Avdeeff 11. Did the subaltern speak? Radhika Borde. About the Editors. Notes on Contributors. Index.
Marine Carrin is Director of Research, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), LISST-Centre d’Anthropologie, Toulouse, France.
Lidia Guzy is Associate Researcher, Institute for Scientific Studies of Religions, Free University of Berlin.