The People of India

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Item Code: ISA22
Publisher: Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers Pvt. Ltd.
Author: Herbert Risley
Language: English
Edition: 1991
ISBN: 8121505427
Pages: 542 (B & W Illus: 35 with one ethnological Map)
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 9.8" X 6.5"
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Book Description
About the Book:

Few countries in the world can vie with India in the matter of geographical vastness and the immensity of ethnic variety. The not too infrequent migrations and incursions, political or otherwise, from outside and the consequent social intercourse with the native tribes have resulted in so much racial miscegenation over the centuries that there are innumerable types, each physically and socially different from the other.

To a young and enterprising anthropologist, what other country could be as fascinating as India affording unlimited material for study. Sir Herbert Risley was one such anthropologist of renown. He came to India as a member of the Indian Civil Service and started work in Chhota Nagpur, that strong-hold of Indian tribes, and by his diligent study of the native races rose to be the Director of Ethnology and thrice President of the Asiatic Society of Bengal.

About the Author:

Risley's The People of India is a monumental study of the ethnology of this country. He was a pioneer in the application of scientific methods to the classification of the races of India and the great value of his work lies in this, that it has continued to open out fresh fields of enquiry and give a new impetus to the study of man in India.


The Physical Types

Ethnic isolation of India1
External factors3
Internal factors4
The race basis of Indian society5
The data of Ethnology6
Language and race7
Indefinite physical characters13
Definite physical characters16
The data now available17
Method of treatment adopted18
Craniometry and Anthropometry19
Anthropometry in India20
General classification of mankind: the three primary types22
Their application to India25
Conditions favourable to anthropometry25
Shape of the head26
Its value as a test of race26
Shape of the head in India27
Shape of the nose: the nasal index28
Correspondence with social groupings28
Shape of face: orbitonasal index30
Stature in Europe and India31
The seven physical types32
Limitations of the scheme34
Turko-Iranian type35
Indo-Aryan type37
Seytho-Dravidian type38
Aryo-Dravidian type37
Mongolo-Dravidian type40
Mongoloid type42
Dravidian type44
Origins of types47
The Indo-Aryan type: its non-Indian origin48
The mode of its entry into India50
The Aryo-Dravidians: Dr. Hoernle's theory55
The Mongolo-Dravidians56
The Scytho-Dravidian type: its history57
The possible origin58

Social Types

Social divisions: the tribe62
Types of tribes62
The Dravidian tribe63
The Mongoloid tribe64
The Turko-Iranian tribes: the Afghan type64
The Baloch and Brahui type64
Marriage in Baluchistan67
The word "caste"67
Definition of caste68
M. Senart's description68
An English parallel69
Conversion of tribes into castes72
Types of Caste75
    (i) Tribal Castes
    (ii) Functional castes
    (iii) Sectarian castes
    (iv) Castes formed by crossing
    (v) National castes
    (vi) Castes formed by migration
    (vii) Castes formed by changes of customs
    In Chuntia Nagpur
    In Orissa
    In Bombay
    In Central India
    In the Central Provinces
    In Madras
    In Assam
    In Burma
Sir J.G. Frazer's theory of totemism105
Totemism and Exogamy107
Classification of castes109
Method adopted in Census of 1901111
Its practical working113
Its general results114
Social precedence of Hindus in Bengal114
Social precedence among Muhammadans121
Case of Baluchistan123
Distribution of social groups125
Diffused groups125
Localised groups126
Muhammadan groups126

Caste in Proverbs and Popular Sayings

Proverbs in general: various definitions128
Classified as general and particular129
Indian proverbs of caste130
A village portrait gallery130
The Brahman130
The Baniya131
The Kayasth132
The Jat132
The Kumbi or Kurmi133
The Barber133
The Goldsmith134
The Potter134
The Blacksmith134
The Carpenter135
The Oil-presser and dealer in oil135
The Tailor135
The Washerman135
The Fisherman136
The Weaver136
The Tanner and Shoemaker137
The Dom138
The Mahar and Dhed139
The Pariah139
The Bhil139
Comparative Proverbs140
The Parsi142
The Ascetics143
The Muhammadans144
In Baluchistan and North-West Frontier Province144
In Sind and Gujarat146
In the Punjab146
In the United Provinces147
In Behar147
In Madras147
Provincial and local Proverbs148
General Proverbs149
Bibliography of Indian Proverbs152

Caste and Marriage

Contrasts between India and Europe154
Influence of hypergamy165
Female infanticide and exogamy171
Female infanticide and hypergamy173
Origin of hypergamy178
Prohibition of widow marriage unknown in Vedic times182
Causes of its revival182
Considerations of property, of spiritual benefit, of sacramental doctrine183
Influence of hypergamy184
Practice of lower castes184
Feeling of the people as to extension of widow marriage185
Prevalence of infant marriage186
Origin of infant marriage187
Mr. Nesfield's theory188
Antiquity of the custom: its possible causes189
The case for infant marriage192
The physiological side of the question193
Abuses in Bengal194
Reform in Rajputana195
Rules of the Walterkrit Sabha196
As to expenses196
As to betrothal197
As to age198
Legislation: Mr. Ghose's scheme199
The Mysore Act200
The Baroda Act201
Its practical working202
Sardar Arjun Singh's Scheme203
Indian views of it204
Prospects of reform205
Difficulties of legislation206
The two forms of polyandry207
Matriarchal polyandry207
The ceremonial husband209
The actual husband209
Fraternal polyandry in Tibet and Sikkim210
Origin of polyandry212
Statistics of marriage212
Among Hindus213
Among Muhammadans213

Caste and Religion

Stratification of caste216
Hinduism and Islam217
Railways and religion218
The best term available222
Ideas underlying Animism223
Impersonal elemental forces225
Origin of unworshipped Supreme Beings226
Beginnings of religion227
The ghost theory228
Growth of ancestor-worship228
Animism in India231
Relation between Animism and popular Hinduism232
Illustration of Animistic ideas233
The Sri Panchami and Animism235
Sources of Animistic usages236
Transmigration and Karma238
Lucian on Karma239
Ancient Paganism and modern Hinduism242
Adaptiveness of Paganism243
Weaker than Hinduism in metaphysics and ethics244
Stronger in national sentiment245
Statistics of religion246
Increase of Muhammadans246
Influence of conversion247
Influence of Christianity on the low castes249
Causes of its failure with the high castes250
Nationalism and the Arya Samaj253
The Samaj and the Khatris254
The future of Hinduism255

The Origin of Caste

The origins of caste257
The Indian theory258
Its historic elements259
Its probable origin261
The Indian and Iranian classes262
Sir Denzil Ibbetson's theory263
Mr. Nesfield's theory265
M. Senart's theory267
Caste not merely occupation. The guilds of Medieval Europe269
Caste under the Roman Empire270
Castes not merely developed tribes272
The genesis of caste: the basis of fact273
The genesis of caste: the influence of fiction276
Caste and Nationality

European idea that caste is breaking up278
Founded on misconceptions of facts279
Not shared by Sir Henry Cotton282
Whose views are confirmed by statistics and by the best Indian opinion283
Apparent antagonism of caste and nationality284
Caste and monarchy285
Caste and democracy286
Caste and nationality286
The factors of nationality287
Community of origin288
Political history290
The basis of Indian nationality293
Has it any parallel in history?294
The example of Gaul295
The example of Japan296
The future of Indian Nationalism299


I. Proverbs Relating to Caste305
II. Maps of Castes334
III. Anthropometric Data344
IV. Infant Marriage Laws403
V. Modern Theories of Caste407
VI. Kulin Polygamy423
VII. The Santal and Munda Tribes441

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