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The Cult of the Tiger

Valmik Thapar (Author)
Synopsis This is a short book on the cultural and symbolic relevance of the tiger in Asia, and the decline of its cult over time. The author, one of the world’s foremost authorities on the tiger, argues that it is this very symbolic status of the tiger which has been responsible for its survival in Asia. With the invention of the gun, and an acceleration of sport-hunting, the status of the tiger declined, leading to the present situation where specific conservation efforts are necessary to ensure the tiger’s survival. In this little book, beautifully illustrated with rare photographs, the author discusses both the rich cult built around the tiger, and the problems faced by the animal across Asia. Valmik Thapar takes the reader on a journey from Siberia, across the Caspian, to Korea, and China, through Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia into Thailand and Malaysia, to the Indonesian Islands, and finally into Burma and India. Along the way, the reader encounters tales rich in folklore, belief and ritual, of worship, respect and fear of the majestic tiger. The author believes that those interested in tigers and their conservation, require an understanding of how this remarkable animal was worshipped and revered, in order to assure and work for its future survival. This fascinating account will appeal to anyone interested in the stories, myths and legends built around the tiger in Asia, and all wildlife and conservation enthusiasts.
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About the author

Valmik Thapar

Valmik Thapar, one of the world’s leading tiger conservationists, earned a degree in social anthropology from Delhi University in 1972 and since then has dedicated his life to tiger research and preservation. Thapar has been associated with Ranthambhore National Park in Rajasthan, northern India, for nearly thirty years. He is the founder and director of the Ranthambhore Foundation, which he created in 1987, an organization devoted to maintaining the ecological balance necessary to protect the tiger and its habitats all over India. Thapar is the author of ten books on tigers, most recently Tiger: The Ultimate Guide (2004), The Cult of the Tiger (2002), Saving Wild Tigers (2001), Wild Tigers of Ranthambhore (2000), and The Land of the Tiger (1997), which accompanied a major BBC-TV series of the same name. Thapar has also written Bridge of God (2001), about the Masai Mara National Park in Kenya, and Battling for Survival (2003), an ecological history of the forests of South Asia. Thapar has appeared in and contributed to a number of documentaries. Since 1992 Thapar has been serving on several expert committees of the Indian government related to tigers and wildlife and is currently a member of the Central Empowered Committee, which was constituted by the Supreme Court of India to Monitor forests and wildlife. He lives in New Delhi.

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Bibliographic information

Title The Cult of the Tiger
Author Valmik Thapar
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2002
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 0195660366
length xiv+119p., Bibliography; Index; 22cm.