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The People and Culture of Bengal : A Study in Origins, Volume 1--Part 1 and 2

Annapurna Chattopadhyaya, Firma KLM, 2002, 798 p, 2 Parts, maps, $66.00 (Includes free airmail shipping)

The People and Culture of Bengal : A Study in Origins, Volume 1--Part 1 and 2/Annapurna Chattopadhyaya

Contents: Part-I : Foreword. Preface. Introduction. I. Introducing Bengal. II. Physical landscape: 1. Hills and rocks. 2. Forest : North-east-west-south: --Sundarvan. 3. Delta and soil. 4. Climate and rainfall. 5. River system. 6. Observation. III. Settlements : village and city: A. Village: 1. Growth of village. 2. Village types. 3. Size and boundary. 4. Constituent parts. 5. Agronomy and agronomic productions. 6. Crafts. 7. Trade centres and communication. 8. Medium of exchanges. 9. Measurements. 10. Village administration. 11. Village revenue. IV. The aborigines in Bengal: 1. Extant tribal communities. 2. Categories of extant tribes in Bengal. 3. Categorywise portrayal of each tribal group. V. Indigenes of Bengal: 1. The Nishadas. 2. The savaras. 3. The Pulindas. 4. General observation.

Part-II: VI. Ancient peoples of Bengal: 1. The Vangas. 2. The Pundras. 3. The Suhmas and the Radhas. 4. The Gaudas and the Gaudiyas. 5. General observation. VII. Extra Indian tribal communities: A. Extraneous tribal communities from North-east: 1. The Kiratas. 2. The Kambojas. 3. The Kochs, the Mech and the Rajvamsis. 4. General observation. B. Tribal communities from North-west: 1. The Yavanas. 2. The Mlechchhas. 3. The Khasas. 4. The Sakas. 5. The Hunas. 6. The Chinas. 7. The Abhiras. 8. The Turushkas. 9. General observation. Bibliography. Index.

"The People and Culture of Bengal : A Study in Origins is no doubt a highly ambitious project entailing multi-disciplinary treatment of geographical, archaeological, historical, ethnological, sociological, anthropological and related issues. The subject matter itself is a complex and vast one. This is an ethno-historical study of the Bengali people and their culture. No comprehensive attempt has been made before this to trace the ethno-historical origins of the people of Bengal including their cultural traits. In fact, no serious attempt has been made to trace the autochthons of Bengal and the cultural base of the Bengali people. Therefore, the importance of this type of study need not be emphasised. The objective of this book is to trace the origins or in other words the very base and roots of the Bengali people and their culture. Here, for the first time, an effort has been made to correlate historical data with ethnological ones. The people of Bengal originally belonged to various tribal communities divided into different categories like Aborigines, Indigenes, Ancient Peoples, Extra-Indian and Intra-Indian etc., possessing divergent ethnic and cultural characteristics. At last all these tribal communities have mingled with each other. The result is a grand ethnic and cultural synthesis. Diverse ethnic features like Austro-Dravidian and Mongoloid-Aryan were amalgamated and the Bengali people have been formed. The Bengali culture has evolved out of this grand ethnic and cultural synthesis. All these are systematically analysed in two Volumes (Vol. I., Parts 1 & 2 and Vol. II., Parts 1 & 2) comprising about 1750 (approx.) pages including 12 Maps and 6 tables. Moreover this book contains a valuable foreword by internationally famous eminent historian Prof. R.S. Sharma." (jacket)

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