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Against state, against history : freedom, resistance, and statelessness in upland Northeast India

Author: Jangkhomang Guite
Publisher: New Delhi : Oxford University Press, 2019.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Living in the shadow of state is not a dark, static and silent world. It was the world in full radiance, involving multiple process of reenactment to life, lifeways and relationship. If state and history demonized the hill people as the 'pest' and 'nuisance' to civilization, and the hill practices as the 'relics' of the 'primitive', the hillmen's narratives celebrated them as their core cultural collective. Against  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Jangkhomang Guite
ISBN: 9780199489411 0199489416
OCLC Number: 1085197791
Description: lviii, 301 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Contents: List of figures and table --
List of abbreviations --
Preface --
Introduction: on being Hillmen. An enormous dead level: daunting geography, rippling states --
The great escape: peopleing the blue hills --
DIvided we stand: space, settlement, and population distribution pattern --
Pathways, citadels, and sentinels of the hills --
A pleasurable toil: food, freedom, and livelihood --
Chiefs, commoners, and the babel of tongues --
Between the worlds upside down: summoning folktales --
Renouncer, restorer, and defender: daughters of the hills --
Symbiotic hill-valley relationship: transactions of space, manpower, and resources. Conclusion: disowning state, becoming egalitarian --
References --
Index --
About the author.
Responsibility: Jangkhomang Guite.

Abstract:

Living in the shadow of state is not a dark, static and silent world. It was the world in full radiance, involving multiple process of reenactment to life, lifeways and relationship. If state and history demonized the hill people as the 'pest' and 'nuisance' to civilization, and the hill practices as the 'relics' of the 'primitive', the hillmen's narratives celebrated them as their core cultural collective. Against State, Against History is a radical reevaluation of the dominant civilizational narratives on the 'tribe' and attempts to recast their history in the light of recent historiography that presents the hillmen as state evading population. Bringing together both conventional and oral narratives, and from the counter-perspectives of the margin, the book explores the conditions in which section of valley population escaped to the hills, their migration history, how they reenact their space, society, culture and economy in the hills. Their physical dispersion in the highland terrain, choosing an independent village polity, defended by trained warriors, fortressed at the top of hills, connected by repulsive pathways, following jhum economy, and adopting a pliable social, cultural, ethnic and gender formations, are their counter cultural collective at the margins of state. They were reenacted to prevent state control and the emergence of domination relations in the hills. This process is understood as unstate involving the process of disowning state and becoming an egalitarian society where freedom of individuals was located at the core of their cultural collective.

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