This work deals with religion and ritual in rural Kumaon, India. It provides detailed descriptions of myths, legends, and life-cycle rituals found there. It describes and analyses the relationship of the castes in the village studied. Analysis is built up from the views expressed by the informants. The work breaks fresh ground in each of the above-mentioned areas for rural Kumaon.
During my village study phase I was helped by a number of persons. Major General D. P. S. Raghuvanshi AVSM was a gem. Major General Inder Raj Kumar and Brigadier Satish Issar were truly concerned. These senior officers belong to the Kumaon Regiment. Colonel Ram Singhji and Donna Ram Singhji were Very generous with their hospitality.
Major Vijendra Singh and Captain J. S. Brar were a boon for my interior field work. Sergeant Negi village leader in a Thakur village was a source of good information. He had wide contacts, and gave me many sound leads.
Brigadier Teg Bahadur Kapur, AVSM and Dr. Mrs. Promilla Kapur, Ph. D. D.Litt. Were towers of strength to me. It was with their constant support that I was able to complete this work was the pre-eminent sociologist Professor Andre Beteille of Delhi University. His correspondence with me in the field and expert suggestions later were critical inputs for the work. All he demanded was my best effort-for which I am most grateful to him.!
Professor Gerald D. Berreman of the University of California encouraged me to publish this work through his erudite letters. He has been a source of encouragement. Himalayan, especially Uttarakhand, studies are of common interest to us.
Professor T. N. Madan, Director, Institute of Economic Growth, has been a source of inspiration. His deep and diverse work and his teaching of sociology in the lecture theatre are both wonderful and rare.
I thank my wife Sapna and daughter Urvashi for providing a congenial mood during the publication of this work.
I am most grateful to Professor Iqbal Narain, Member-Secretary of the ICSSR, for sanctioning me a grant for the publication of this work.
I thank Professor G. Ram Reddy, Vice Chancellor, Indira Gandhi National Open University, for being a source of inspiration to me, and encouraging the publication of this work.
From the Jacket:
This study presents a radical break-through in both method and analysis in Social Anthropology/Sociology. In terms of method it treats the field as a source of geographical models of the village(s) studied. Concerning analysis it amalgamates strands from various disciplines into an integral interpretative instrument. Finally data is gathered as much by being-in-field as by building from the foundations of culture traits. Thus the methods of anthropology, historiography, psychography are used to study myths and legends, leading systems, ritual sets - all of which function under the aegis of the religious outlook. As such this study while being complete in itself provides numerous directions for analysis.
This study took over five years to complete of which about two were field-based in remote regions, where religion and ritual form the deepest concern of man pitted against a hostile ecology.
About the Author:
Dr. Tribhuvan Kapur has already published six books. These books comprise a body of knowledge that is as radical as it is relevant.
He has completed his postgraduate studies from Delhi University. He obtained his doctorate degree in Sociology from Delhi University in 1983. The present study is based on his Ph.D. thesis.
He is interested in studying and providing solutions to problem areas in social and cultural life. With this in mind he is engaged in a study of religion, mysticism, and related phenomena. At present he is Lecturer in Indira Gandhi National Open University, NewDelhi. Here he is actively engaged in their academic programmes.
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