Recognizing Himalayan Diversity: Society and Culture in the Himalaya

Hardcover | January 1, 2011

byChetan Singh

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Studies of specific mountain areas have almost invariably been contextualized within an integrated picture of highlands in opposition to an 'other' - the lowlands. The Himalayas have not been an exception. It has been long contended by anthropologists that the inhabitants of the lowerHimalayas - stretching from Kashmir to eastern Nepal - share common cultural and historical traditions. Studies show that several characteristics such as, inter-caste relations, marriage customs, the status accorded to women, religious practices and dietary habits, distinguish pahari people from theinhabitants of the plains. This book presents a discussion on the broad aspects in which Himalayan societies are markedly different from the adjacent lowlands of South Asia. The essays engage with some of the key institutions and traditions associated with these differentiating areas. They also illustrate the diversity withinthem, emphasizing that while certain customs are broadly representative of a shared Himalayan culture, there is no single underlying rationality for the entire region. The internal variations that have evolved historically within Himalayan societies still persist.

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Studies of specific mountain areas have almost invariably been contextualized within an integrated picture of highlands in opposition to an 'other' - the lowlands. The Himalayas have not been an exception. It has been long contended by anthropologists that the inhabitants of the lowerHimalayas - stretching from Kashmir to eastern Nepal...

Chetan Singh is Professor of History at the Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:312 pages, 8.46 × 5.51 × 0.01 inPublished:January 1, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198069081

ISBN - 13:9780198069089

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Table of Contents

Chetan Singh: IntroductionI. Environment and Human Response1. Uttarakhand Dhirendra Datt Dangwal: Diverse Livelihood Strategies and the Changing Economy of Colonial Uttarakhand Dhirendra Datt Dangwal2. Sanjeeva Pandey: Diversity of Nature Conservation Practices in Himachal Pradesh Sanjeeva PandeyII. Gender, Society, and Ethnicity3. Yogesh Snehi: Diversity as Counter-hegemony: Reet and Gender Relations in Himachal Pradesh4. Chetan Singh: Diverse Forms of Polyandry and Customary Rights of Inheritance and Landownership in the Western Himalayas5. Jaiwanti Dimri: The Subaltern Speak in the Bhutanese Lozey: A Critique of Two Indigenous Dzongka Texts 6. Hari Prasad Bhattara: Cultural Diversity, Social Exclusion and Identity Politics in NepalIII. The Many Ways of Religion7. Laxman S. Thakur: Archaeology of an Extinct Religious Tradition: Bonpos of the Western Himalaya8. Bharati Puri: Deep Ecology and Buddhism: Imperatives for the Himalayan Region9. Mushtaq A. Kaw: Pluralism in Kashmiri Religious TraditionsIV. Expressions of Folk Tradition10. D. P. Saklani: The Diversity of the Ramayana Tradition in the Garhwal Himalaya11. Holi Girija Pande: Folk Expression and Imagination in a Himalayan Festival: Diversity as Reflected in Kumaoni12. Meenakshi F. Paul: The Changing Face of Banthda: Folk Drama of Mandi and Suket in Himachal PradeshContributors