The Nilgiri Hills: A Kaleidoscope of People, Culture, and Nature
Paul Hockings (Ed.)
Price
975.00
ISBN
9789354423963
Language
English
Pages
284
Format
Paperback
Dimensions
140 x 216 mm
Year of Publishing
2023
Territorial Rights
World
Imprint
Orient BlackSwan
Catalogues

The year 2019 marked the bicentenary of British contact with the indigenous people of the Nilgiri Hills, in south India. This contact was initiated by John Sullivan, a local official from Coimbatore, who over a few years founded the town of Ootacamund from scratch.

Interestingly, and contrary to many accounts of colonial expansion, there is no indication anyone here was harmed by the outsiders, let alone enslaved or killed. Thus south India's first hill station came into being, in 1821.

The Nilgiris District is a bare 1,000 square miles in extent, yet it remains one of the most heavily researched areas of India. This volume brings together new articles from writers and scholars, including ecologists, filmmakers and a musicologist, local writers and overseas experts, on topics that have never before been examined:

  • ancient metallurgy;
  • the gathering of wild honey;
  • Toda views of the British;
  • the mythology of the Badagas and traditional healing systems of the Irulas and Alu Kurumbas;
  • the music of some of these tribes; and
  • the unique climate and several ecosystems of the region.

These fresh topics add to our understanding of this mountainous area; and stunning photographs, both historical and of the modern day, complement the chapters to bring the region alive.

Paul Hockings is Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at the University of Illinois, and also Editor-in-Chief of Visual Anthropology.

List of Images, Figures and Maps
List of Plates
List of Abbreviations
A Timeline of Nilgiri Modernisation
Preface

PART I: PROLOGUE

1. The Eve of the Modern
Paul Hockings

PART II: NATURE

2. Biodiversity and Conservation Challenges
R. J. Ranjit Daniels

3. A Climatologist in the Nilgiris
Hans J. von Lengerke

PART III: COMMUNITIES

4. John Sullivan and the Toda Monegars
Anthony R. Walker

5. Innocent Times: A Glimpse Back into Sullivan’s Nilgiris
Philip K. Mulley

6. Through Badaga Eyes: The Social Construction of a Cultural Landscape
Frank Heidemann

PART IV: ARTS & CRAFTS

7. Ancient Nilgiri Metallurgy
Sharada Srinivasan

8. Among the Gems from the Nilgiris, the Kota Women Potters
Marie-Claude Mahias

9. Experiencing Music in Tribal South India: On Doing a Recording Project
William Tallotte

PART V: HONEY & MONEY

10. ‘When We Have the Blessings of the Bees, Why Should We Worry?’: Chronicles of a Honeyhunter from the Northeastern Slopes
Pratim Roy and Anita Varghese

11. Cultivating the Money Bush: Tea Production, Socioeconomic Transformation and the Ambivalence of Money
Jens M. Zickgraf

PART VI: PERSONALITIES

12. Twenty-first Century Toda Recollections of the British Raj
Tarun Chhabra

13. The Sadist Who Sired a South Indian Scholar-Administrator
Paul Hockings

14. A Nineteenth-Century Photographer of the Nilgiris and its People
Christopher Penn

15. ‘Everything is Poison Now’: Irula and Alu Kurumba Illness Narratives in a Changing Social Context
Andrew C. Willford

16. The German Nilgiri Family: Team Members of the Indo-German Nilgiris Development Project
Peter Neunhäuser

PART VII: CODA

17. The Symbiosis in the Nilgiris
Indu K. Mallah

A Brief Bibliography for Readers
Notes on the Contributors
Index

1. Book Announcement | Published in the Deccan Herald, Bengaluru, 21 February 2024.
2. Book Review | Published in the Business Line, New Delhi, 8 January 2024.
3. Book Review | Published in The Hindu, Chennai, 22 October 2023.
4. Notice | Published in the Business Line, New Delhi, 14 August 2023.
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