Planned object

Title: Questions of inequality and collective experience. Hinduism from several inner perspectives


Demski, Dagnosław

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Archaeologia Polona Vol. 44 (2006)


Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology Polish Academy of Sciences

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24 cm


This paper examines the nature of social inequality taking examples from traditional Hinduism still functioning in rural Western India. Comparative research enables us to show the distinct inner divisions of society and different ways of expressing these divisions. Focus on three traditional groups from India — Rajputs, camel shepherds (Rabaris) and Untouchable Dalits (Meghwals), each holding a specific position in society, sheds more light not only on the idosyncracies of their culture, but also on how a specific notion categorizing Hindu values, first creates firm boundaries in society, and then imprints itself on all subgroups, and finally expresses them culturally in myths, symbols, rituals, etc. Doing analysis of these cultures, we discover not only what makes all of them Hindu, but also what makes them distinct. We can also observe the different ways in which each subgroup reacts to social divisions, taking them for granted, crossing them, or being forbidden any transgression. This paper emphasizes the advantage of doing ethnological fieldwork; work on several levels, including interviews and personal contact with a living culture, offers extensive data from various sources, enabling a cultural analysis on a deeper level


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Archaeologia Polona



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IAiE PAN, call no. P 357 ; IAiE PAN, call no. P 358 ; IAiE PAN, call no. P 356 ; click here to follow the link




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Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology of the Polish Academy of Sciences

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