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Bunts in History and Culture

B Surendra Rao (Author)
Bunts in History and Culture is an attempt to reconstruct the history of Bunts of Dakshina Kannada from the early times to the present. It is based on available historical sources and transparent inferences drawn from them. It interrogates some of the fond theories connected with the community or the region it helped to mould at various times. The book also dredges up some interesting snap-shots of Bunts from the living folklore of Tulu and unfolds the various social and economic forces that have kept the community together while yet prodding it on to the path of change. In fact, the impact of colonial modernity and the positive response of Bunts to it, as well as to the overpowering influence of nationalist movement, have decisively contributed to the moulding of the Bunt genius. If Bunts have largely remained loyal to their social and cultural inheritance, they have not fought shy either of exploring the paths of change. The book not only deals with the historical roots of Bunts, but also explores their trajectories of change and transformation in the twentieth century, in which they had to respond to many social and economic forces. The impact of modern education on the community and the role of the Bunts Sanghas in the making of the Bunt consciousness, compulsions and consequences of migration, the community's response to matrilineal laws of inheritance or to the seismic impact of Land Reforms, and their definitive role in the making of the Tulu cultural fabric are some of the issues that are addressed in the book.

The book is a product of a research project launched under the academic umbrella of Rashtrakavi Govinda Pai Samshodhana Kendra. A hectic programmed of survey was undertaken of both oral and documentary material on the subject by a team of research scholars. It visited more than two hundred Bunt houses and interviewed many more people in villages and towns from Byndoor to Kasargod. It tappedd archival sources from the National Archives, New Delhi, Tamilnadu Archives, Chennai and Divisional Archives, Mysore, besides using secondary and tertiary material from various libraries and repositories. That has indeed made this work the first serious evidence-based history of Bunts written by a professional historian. While there have been works on socio-cultural aspects of Bunts in Tulunadu, with occasional nods at anthropological connections, the present work can reasonably claim to be departure from them in that it takes the larger picture of the dynamic history and culture of the region, situating the community of Bunts in it. It discusses the various speculated theories regarding the origin of Bunts, including the recent genetic evidence; it examines the Kshatriya claim of the community and its connections with the Jain tradition in the district. It also takes a look at the various Bunt images that the paddanas unfold, besides presenting the grandeur and functions of some of the important guttus in the region. Bunts in History and Culture will be of interest to those who wish to know the history and culture of Bunts in Tulunadu, as also the larger contexts in which they operated in the past and move forward in the brave new world of today.
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About the author

B Surendra Rao

The author, Dr. B. Surendra Rao (born 1948) is a retired Professor of History,. Manglore University, where he had taught between 1982 and 2008. He had earlier taught at Vivekananda College, Puttur. He has served as the Sectional President (Modern Indian History) of the Indian History Congress at Kolkata (2001). Hisworks, edited or authored, include, Coorg Invented (1998), The Retrieved Acre: The Nature and Culture in the World of the Tuluva (2003), Ithihasa Mattu Samaja (2005)and History as Historiography ( 2010). 

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Bibliographic information

Title Bunts in History and Culture
Format Hardcover
Date published: 31.12.2010
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 8186668608
length viii+360p., Col. Illustrations; 25cm.
Subjects History