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Environment and Ethnicity in India, 1200-1991

  • Broad-ranging and penetrating analysis of the history of tribes and their environment in India across seven centuries
  • Challenge to the notions of environment and ethnicity which will extend readership beyond historians of South Asia to anthropologists and environmentalists
  • Well-known scholar who has written extensively on the subject

Series: Cambridge Studies in Indian History and Society

By: Sumit Guha(Author)

236 pages, 4 maps, 4 tables

Cambridge University Press

Paperback | Nov 2006 | #211641 | ISBN: 0521028701
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £35.99 $50/€41 approx
Hardback | Jul 1999 | #211642 | ISBN: 0521640784
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £87.99 $123/€100 approx

About this book

Drawing on a rich collection of sources, Sumit Guha's 1999 book reconstructs the history of the forest communities in western India to explore questions of tribal identity and the environment. In so doing, he demonstrates how the ideology of indigenous cultures, developed out of the notion of a pure and untouched ethnicity, is in fact rooted in nineteenth-century racial and colonial anthropology. As a challenge to this view, the author traces the processes by which the apparently immutable identities of South Asian populations took shape, and how these populations interacted politically, economically and socially with civilizations outside their immediate vicinity. While such theories have been discussed by scholars of South-East Asia and Africa, this study examines the South Asian case. Sumit Guha's penetrating and controversial critique will make a significant contribution to that literature.


'Rama, Sita and Lukshmana in the forest'
List of maps
List of tables
List of abbreviations

1. From the archaeology of mind to the archaeology of matter
2. Subsistence and predation at the margins of cultivation
3. State formation in the highland forests, 1350–1800
4. The peoples of the Sahyadri under Marathas and British
5. The central Indian forest from Mughal suzerainty to British control
6. The central Indian forest under early British rule
7. Identity and aspiration: not noble savage but savage noble
8. The high colonial period and after: new patterns of authority and power
9. From sanctuaries to safeguards: policies and politics in twentieth-century India


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