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The World of the Oraon: Their Symbols in Time and Space

Abhik Ghosh (Author)
Synopsis In the early 1900s renowned anthropologist Sarat Chandra Roy published his ethnographies on Oraons, one of the numerous tribes in Chotanagpur region. Since then there has been no major work on this tribe, one of the largest in the area. The present work begins by using the symbol as a key ingredient in classifying and analyzing criteria used in the cognition of the Oraons. It goes into the detail of symbol formation to show how they are used in everyday contexts. Symbols include aspects of rituals, festivals and knowledge about other spheres of Oraon life. Since the raw materials of anthropological studies comes ultimately from the individual, it is the latter who is the focus of this study. The idea of time, space and boundaries help the Oraons to practice a large variety of medical practices for their curative and other health requirements. Further, the identity of the Oraons as one having a religion is also ambivalent, caused by inclusion-exclusion realities of various kinds operating on them. This makes them include converts to Christianity for certain reasons and also to resent and reject them for others. These ideas further enable them to politically create a pan-community identity as Jharkhandis, creating a demand for a space to be created called Jharkhand, having its own individual culture separate from other states around them. This imagined homeland became a reality recently with the creation of Jharkhand. This work attempts a major stocktaking of the Oraons nearly a hundred year after Roy’s classic works appeared.
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About the author

Abhik Ghosh

Abhik Ghosh is a lecturer in social anthropology at Punjab University, Chandigarh. He holds an M. Sc. And Ph.D. in social anthropology from the University of Delhi. He has conducted his fieldwork in the Chotanagpur region of Jharkahand, West Bengal, Udaipur in Rajasthan Himachal Pradesh. To his credit are 30 publications in national journals and periodicals. He has authored two other books titled A Brief History of Anthropology (1994) and Meetings with the Other (1996). His major interests are symbolism, policy analysis, tribal studies, National security and ecological anthropology.

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Bibliographic information

Title The World of the Oraon: Their Symbols in Time and Space
Author Abhik Ghosh
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2006
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 8173046921
length 364p., Tables; Figures; Appendices; Glossary; Bibliography; Index; 23cm.