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Between Tradition and Modernity: And Other Essays on the Toda of South India

Anthony R. Walker (Author)
Synopsis The book contains essays on the Toda of South India. It begins with an essay "Toda Society: Between Tradition and Modernity" to provide the background for all that will follow. The second essay: A Thousand Out of Eight Hundred Million: Who Cares?" is an attempt to explain just why the Toda, despite being one of India's smallest communities, are yet among the best known in the ethnographic record, not only of India, but of the whole world. The next two chapters deal with aspects of Toda ethnography, but presented in radically different ways. Chapter 3 is a polemical paper, attacking some and supporting other modern secondary analyses of the Toda kinship and marriage systems. Chapter 4 is a straightforwad account of a famous Toda ritual: the giving by a man of a symbolic bow-and-arrow to a woman. Chapter 5 takes up the subject namely, the earliest Christian missions to the Toda Community. Chapter 6 deals with the Toda people who have thoroughly charmed generation upon generation of Westerners. Chapter 7 discusses whether the designation of certain types of human societies as "tribes" or "tribal" has any explanatory value at all. Chapter 8 is author's response to Professor Stephen Tyler's criticisms of The Toda of South India: A New Look. The final chapter "Reporting the Toda: 1602-1993", is a bibliographical essay to indicate the extraordinary wealth of documentation available to the researcher of Toda socio-cultural institutions. The book is dedicated to Murray Barnson Emeneau, truly the modern guru of Toda Studies.
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About the author

Anthony R. Walker

Anthony Walker, a social anthropologist, was educated at Tobridge School, Kent (1954-9), Osmania University, Hyderabad (B.A. 1961) and Oxford University (Dip. In Anthropology 1964, M. Litt. 1965, D. Phil. (1972). He has worked as research officer at the Tribal Research Institute, Chiang Mai, Thailand (1966-70) and taught socio-cultural anthropology, with special reference to India and Southeast Asia, at the Science University of Malaysia, Penang (1972-79), the National University of Singapore (1979-86) and the Ohio State University (1986-96). He was Fellow in charge of ethnographic research at the University of the South Pacific’s Institute of Pacific Studies in Suva, Ffiji (1996-99) before moving to his present post in the anthropology and sociology unit at the University of Brunei Darussalam. Walker has conducted fieldwork among the Toda (since 1961) and among the Lahu (in North Thailand since 1966 and in Yunnan, China, since 1990). Among the books he has authored or edited are Farmers in the Hills: Upland North Thailand (1975), The Toda of South India: A New Look (1986), The Highland (1992), New Place Old Ways: Indian Society & Culture in Modern Sigapore (1994), Mvuh Hpa Mi Hpa: An Epic Myth of the Lahu People in Yunnan (1995), My Village, My World: Everyday Life in Nadoriam Fiji (2001) (with Solomoni Biturogoiwasa) and Merit and the Millennium: Routine and Crisis in the Ritual Lives of the Lahu Peoples (2003). Anthony Walker is married to Pauline Hetland, his ever reliable and vigilant editor. Their son, Michael Arun, has a degree in Fie Arts; his illustrations grace several of his father’s books, including the cover of this volume.

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Bibliographic information

Title Between Tradition and Modernity: And Other Essays on the Toda of South India
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.1998
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 8170189160
length xx+270p., Maps; 25cm.