The book Contain the material culture of the three sub-groups of the Kondhs. a major tribal community of Orissa, situated In the districts of Koraput, Kalahandi and Phulbani. It examines the cultural life aspects of the Kutia Kondhs. the Dongaria Kondhs and the Malia Kondhs which remarkably differs from one another even thong's there is much commonality in their social and cultural life.
With numerous illustrations of their settlements, artefacts and art objects, items of material culture and plans of their houses, the book deals with similarities in socio-cultural, religious and aesthetic aspects of their life- varying occupation habitats, ecosystems and housing types. It attempts to show that a study of their material culture resells unity In diversity. For the purpose. it deals with their household objects, quest for good persona/ care dress, adornments. religious objects and musical instruments. It describes each artefact/common items of use along with Its name (local dialect) in the Kondh communities. Giving an ethnographic account of the different sub-sects as well, the analysis systematically finds out what aspects of their culture has changed over the time and what has seen the least change.
The work, both interesting and enlightening, is an attempt to unravel the social and cultural &meth of one of the most ancient and rich tribal traditions of India. It will be an Invaluable asset to scholars of a variety of disciplines, mainly anthropology and sociology.
Nityananda Patnaik (b. 1927), formerly Director of Anthropology, National Institute of Rural Development (NIRD), and also the Director of Tribal and Harijan Research and Training Institute, Government of Orissa, is a widely renowned scholar and an established author. In earlier years of his career, he taught anthropology at Utkal University and had also been a fellow of the prestigious Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla.
Currently, Dr Patnaik is involved in various activities of the Social Science and Development Research Institute (SSADRI) which he has set up at Bhubaneswar after his retirement from Government services.
THE present report is a study on the Material Culture of the Sub-groups of the Kondh tribe of Orissa. A study of all aspects of the material side of people's life is of great importance. It is of great interest from such points of view as forms and functions of artefacts, sources of invention, questions of diffusion and their relation to social organization, religion and ceremonial practices. The scientists find it very useful in anthropological inquiry of tribal and other communities. A deep knowledge about the material life of a community is an excellent way of gaining the confidence of people and establishing rapport with them for data collection and field investigations among them.
The artefacts, art objects and such other items of material culture are an integral part of other aspects of a culture. Taking all material items of a culture together make the material culture of a community. There may be considerable similarities in form and function of material items from place to place, in a particular community, be it a peasant community or a tribal community. There may also be differences in form and function of certain material items from place to place, in a particular community, and such local differentiations are largely due to cross-cultural contact and acculturation.
It is assumed that the material culture of a community may be the same in respect of the various items which comprise the material culture in different localities. But under the influence of geographical conditions and acculturation, there appears to be spectacular changes and discordances in form and function of the material items which constitute the material culture of a particular community. This book deals with the material culture of the Kondh tribe. The Kondhs are
divided into three sub-groups, namely the Kutia Kondh - inhabiting the Belghar region of Phulbani district, the Dongaria Kondhs - occupying Niyamgiri hills of Koraput district, and the Mafia Kondhs of Sadar sub-division of Phulbani district. There appear to be considerable similarities in socio-cultural, religious and aesthetics aspects and belief-system laws regarding social control and world-view of the sub-groups which accord to the traditional Kondh culture pattern. But as one goes down to the base representing the material culture we notice greater differences in the material level of life. Thus the structure of a society can be compared to a pyramid. There is more differentiation at the material base of the social system and progressively less as one mounts higher and higher. The differences at the material aspects of culture are eventually replaced by a unity of beliefs and aspirations which gives to the community in question a character of its own. In other words, the study of the material culture of a society reveals unity in diversity in its local system and culture pattern.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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