Brahmaputra   studies


Philippe Ramirez


The anthropological complexity of Northeast India is impressive. It consists in a multiplicity of appositions and overlappings among linguistical, cultural, ecological and ethnic entities. In order to understand this great human constellation, I have chosen to look at what happens on the fringes, the "margins". My first fieldworks were conducted among the Dimasas and Karbis.
In the specific framework of this project, my main fieldwork is an area between plains and hills, which most inhabitants call themselves Tiwa. Although forming a clear ethnicity they are subdivided into two very contrasted cultural entities. My hypothesis is that the Tiwa specificity is intimately related to their historical role as a political and economical link between the Plains States and those of Meghalaya plateau. I will try to document the concrete as well as perceived limits of the Tiwa entity as well as the similarities and differences with their Khasi, Jaintia, Assamese and Karbi neighbours. A simultaneous approach of both structural elements and outwards relationships may help to understand the parallel mechanisms of differentiation and inclusion in Northeast-India . Preliminary findings will be found there: Tiwa-Lalung fieldwork


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