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An Endangered History: Indigeneity, Religion, and Politics on the Borders of India, Burma, and Bangladesh

 
Angma Dey Jhala (Author)
Synopsis

An Endangered History examines the transcultural, colonial history of the Chittagong Hill Tracts, c. 1798–1947. This little-studied borderland region lies on the crossroads of Bangladesh, India, and Burma and is inhabited by several indigenous peoples. They observe a diversity of religions, including Buddhism, Hinduism, animism, and Christianity; speak Tibeto-Burmese dialects intermixed with Persian and Bengali idioms; and practise jhum or slash-and-burn agriculture.

This book investigates how British administrators from the eighteenth to mid-twentieth centuries used European systems of knowledge, such as botany, natural history, gender, enumerative statistics, and anthropology, to construct these indigenous communities and their landscapes. In the process, they connected the region to a dynamic, global map, and classified its peoples through the reifying language of religion, linguistics, race, and nation.

Contents: 1. Introduction. 2. ‘Promiscuous’ Planting: Francis Buchanan’s Botanical Explorations of 1798. 3. ‘Beware Oh Petticoats! There Be Leeches in These Parts’: Reading Gender, Indigeneity, and 4. Tribal. Authority in T.H. Lewin’s Archive, c. 1864–75. 5. Measuring Tribal ‘Otherness’: Colonial Enumeration, Religion, and Governmentality, c. 1876–1909. 6. The Administrator (as) Anthropologist: Reinventing Tribal. 7. Chiefs as Indian Princes in J.P. Mills’s 1926–7 Tour Diary, Report, and Proposals. Index.

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Bibliographic information

Title An Endangered History: Indigeneity, Religion, and Politics on the Borders of India, Burma, and Bangladesh
Format Hardcover
Date published: 18.05.2019
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 9780199493081
length 332p., Figures; Tables and Maps.
Subjects History