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The Aghria: A Peasant Caste on a Tribal Frontier

Uwe Skoda (Author)
Synopsis Ethnographic literature, with its emphasis on tribal communities, has to a large extent ignored the Aghrias, a peasant community of Western Orissa and Chhattisgarh. Questions of cultural change and Hinduization, extension of state structures and the problems of transitions in tribal and caste societies have mostly been discussed in anthropological studies from the angle of individual tribes and immigrating Brahmins or from the level of little kingdoms. There is very little empirical evidence from the perspective of peasant as `culture brokers'. This book explores the life of the Aghrias and their place at the interface between tribal and caste societies. Migrating into predominantly tribal areas, the Aghrias cleared the forests and gradually experienced a social ascent, becoming revenue collectors of `village kings' in several princely states. These pioneers of state formation decisively shaped an emerging mixed society. While trying to fill the research gap in this area, the author also examines the ideas and values of both the tribal and the caste societies in their probably unique setting and regional synthesis.
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About the author

Uwe Skoda

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

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Bibliographic information

Title The Aghria: A Peasant Caste on a Tribal Frontier
Author Uwe Skoda
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2005
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 8173046166
length 607p., Maps; 23cm.