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9788194831693

Reworking Culture Relatedness, Rites, and Resources in Garo Hills, North East India

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  • ISBN13:

    9788194831693

  • ISBN10:

    8194831695

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2023-01-02
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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Summary

Reworking Culture: Relatedness, Rites, and Resources in Garo Hills, North-East India provides intimate insights into the lives of hill farmers and the challenges they face in day-to-day life. Focussing on the reinterpretation of traditions, or customs, the book critiques the all too often taken for granted assumption that upland societies are characterised by cultural homogeneity and strong internal cohesion. Based on extensive ethnographic fieldwork, the book focuses on a rural area in which land continues to constitute the most important resource that people have access to, and that has a substantial number of followers of traditional Garo community religion. In doing so, the book explores the creation and continuing reinterpretation of the multiple relationships through which people are connected to one another, as well as to their environment. These relationships are embedded in normative frameworks that are demanding, yet leave room for ambiguity and negotiation. Far from being immutable, these need to be constantly expressed, (re-)interpreted and enacted. Reworking Culture shows how what people perceive as tradition, is continuously revised and reworked in response to new economic and political opportunities, as well as to changes in the ontological landscape.

Author Biography


Erik de Maaker, Assistant Professor, Leiden University

Erik de Maaker is Assistant Professor at the Institute of Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology at Leiden University in the Netherlands. His research interests include place making, relatedness, religion, heritage, materiality, visuality, and the life cycle. Erik is also a visual
anthropologist. His publications include the co-edited Media, Indigeneity and Nation in South Asia (Routledge 2019); and Unequal land Relations in North East India: Custom, Gender and the Market (NESRC 2020) as well as Trans-Himalayan Environmental Humanities: Symbiotic Indigeneity and the Animist
Earth (Routledge, 2021). He is a founding member of the Asian Borderlands Research Network.

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