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The Gaddi Beyond Pastoralism
Making Place in the Indian Himalayas
214 pages, 13 ills, 6 tables, 2 maps, bibliog., index
ISBN 978-0-85745-929-9 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (June 2013)
eISBN 978-0-85745-930-5 eBook
“This book is an excellent read for those wishing to acquaint themselves with how human–environment relationships are constructed on the ground in the non- Western world. It offers an analytical foundation to probe practical activities and sensory perceptions incisively and empirically.” · Anthropological Forum
“Accompanied by Latour, Ingold and Descola, Wagner takes the reader on a fascinating journey through the social and religious landscapes as seen by the Gaddi people of Himachal Pradesh. Linking kinship to photography, Shiva worship to para-gliding, music videos to pilgrimage, Wagner departs from clichés and stereotypes to reveal a picture of contemporary Gaddi life that moves beyond their customary occupation as nomadic herders of sheep and goats.” · Richard Axelby, SOAS, London University
The Gaddi of North India are agro-pastoralists who rear sheep and goats following a seasonal migration around the first Himalayan range. While studies on pastoralists have focused either on the pastoralists’ adaptation to their physical environment or treated the environment from a symbolic perspective, this book offers a new, holistic perspective that analyzes the ways in which people “make” place. Based on extensive fieldwork, this book not only describes a contemporary understanding of the Gaddi’s engagement with the environment but also analyzes religious practices and performances of social relations, as well as media practices and notions of aesthetics. Thereby, the landscape in which the Gaddi live is understood as a network of places that is constantly being built and rebuilt through these local practices. The book contributes to the growing interest in approaches of practice within environmental anthropology.
Anja Wagner is Lecturer in Social Anthropology at the University of Münster. She received her doctoral degree in anthropology from the University of Heidelberg, and her studies have been supported by a scholarship from the German National Academic Foundation. She is the vice-spokesperson of the Himalayan studies group of the German Anthropological Association.
Subject: Environmental Studies (General) Anthropology (General)
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