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Highland Odisha: Life and Society Beyond the Coastal World

Uwe Skoda (Editor) Biswamoy Pati (Editor)

Studies of Odisha have often been simplistic and condensed to notions of a relatively prosperous, urbanized centre in the plain along the sea vis-à-vis a backward 'hinterland'. Due to such notions of othering, Odisha beyond the coastal world-the largely Adivasi-populated highlands and ostensible backyard areas in coastal perspectives-has often been relegated to the background of both scholarly and popular imagination. Highland Odisha inverts such othering to draw attention to the highlands of Odisha in the west and south. It is based on fieldwork, participant observation, oral traditions, archival materials, and long-term historical and anthropological research by a range of scholars negotiating this region and its people. Significantly, while examining the less visible and often misrecognized highlands of Odisha, it questions dominant, coastal-centric views and acknowledges a multitude of perspectives on Odisha beyond any simplified dichotomy.

This collection of nine essays covers a range of themes, including social structures, patterns of kinship and relatedness; concepts of food, music or death and their significance related to wider cosmologies; interdependencies among highland communities and the position of migrant farmers between caste and Adivasi society; and processes of resistance and ideas around Nehruvian industrialization projects set up in the supposed 'wilderness'.

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About the authors

Uwe Skoda

Uwe Skoda is currently Lecturer, Institute of Ethnology, Free University of Berlin and works on kingship in central India.

Biswamoy Pati

Biswamoy Pati teachers at the Department of History, Sri Venkateswara college, University of Delhi. He is the author of Resisting Domination: Peasant, Tribals and the National Movement in Orissa, 1920-1950 (1993), Situating Social History: Orissa, 1800-1997 (2001) and Identity, Hegemony, Resistance: Towards a Social History of Conversions in India, 1800-2000 (2003). He has edited Turbulent Times: India, 1940-44 (1998) and Issues in Modern Indian History: for Sumit Sarkar (2000), and co-edited Health, Medicine and Empire: Perspectives on Colonial India (2001).

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Bibliographic information

Title Highland Odisha: Life and Society Beyond the Coastal World
Format Hardcover
Date published: 23.10.2017
Edition 1st. ed.
Publisher Primus Books
Language: English
isbn 9789384082970
length 280p.