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Children of the Earth Goddess: Society, Marriage and Sacrifice in the Highlands of Odisha
Published by De Gruyter
The whole world is changing with incredible speed towards something radically new, yet people across the globe also show resistance to the forces that homogenize our lives. This book deals with a community that has found its niche in the remote Niamgiri mountain range of Odisha (India) and is struggling to preserve its way of life: the Dongria Kond. In recent years, they made the headlines as the real Avatars because they successfully fought a multinational company's plans to mine the mountains. From the perspective of the Dongria Kond, these mountains are the seat of gods, and the whole environment is animated by spiritual forces. This highly complex cosmic order includes humans and non-humans and rests on a divine law (niam). This book captures the viewpoint of the Dongria Kond and provides deep insights into their vision of the world. It offers elaborate accounts of how the Dongria relate to the outside world, conceive of their own society and engage in complex rituals in order to (re-)establish the cosmos. The book confronts the reader with radically different imaginings of familiar human concerns: love, fertility, wealth, status and well-being.
Roland Josef Hardenberg, University of Tubingen, Germany.
Reviewer: Paul Doolan
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