The fourteen chapters of the volume are arranged geographically from east to west along the line of the Himalayas.
Tibetan and Himalayan Studies, Spring 2012
While this may make sense more generally from a visual point of view, it is unfortunate, and the thematic grouping discussed in the introduction makes more sense from a narrative and methodological point of view. I found the thematic overview discussed in the introduction more compelling and will, therefore, follow suit in this review — with the caveat to the reader that this is not the order of the articles in the Contents.
Four chapters in particular raise issues directly related to theory and methodology in the studies of origins and migrations.
It is these chapters that are particularly useful for in-class and academic discussion. In Chapter One, Childs offers an excellent study and discussion of 'processes' in community migrations that are really a series of protracted processes at the micro-local level.
This study starts with a sound and relatively extensive engagement with theoretical literature on migration in order to better understand the factors leading groups of people to migrate and perpetuate migration across space and time. His discussion of network theory and analysis of 'push-pull' dynamics related to social capital drawn from ethnographic and sociological data are particularly useful and grounded tools to explain the fundamental question of 'why' people migrate and how they do so in small groups over time - not necessarily en masse.
In a similar vein, Burling, in Chapter Three, asks the important question of why local populations even ask 'where' they come from, and concludes that the responsibility lies with outside forces such as schools and missionary activities as much as local social and political imperatives like boundaries. He further cautions that not all local Eastern Himalayan populations are equally concerned with questions of origins and migration.
Huber's article in Chapter Six adds another useful methodological point, a 'how' — how small scale 'micro-migrations' over time explain more of the ethnolinguistic variety and distribution than large scale, single-event migrations that have a tendency to dominate local, national, and scholarly narratives. A fourth theory-oriented article, F. Chit Hlaing's Chapter Twelve, argues for more nuanced analyses, or jettisoning of 'single event' migration studies common to academia and the popular press, using the example of population movements of the Chin, Kachin, and Kayah of Burma.
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This article further cautions against simple links between ethnic category and language as multiple if related groups can use their languages differently, and contends that adopting ritual or singular languages obscures the power and presence of multi- or bilingualism. A second major theme of the volume, language and linguistic data, offers complex and unique insights into the confluence of migration, origins, and the ethnolinguistic past of the Eastern Himalaya.
Van Driem's study Chapter Ten situates linguistic data in a multidisciplinary framework of archeology and genetic studies.
In Chapter Nine, Mark Post focuses on the Tani cultural- linguistic area in northeast India in order to trace different strains of contemporary Tani languages back to a kind of proto-Tani. By examining common cultural and environment-related terms in particular a fascinating and original illustration of environmental linguistics and history , Post outlines a rough map of the diversity and movement of population splits, as well as highlighting certain of the cultural-linguistic 'islands' that fit the language family.
The third main theme of four articles relates to concepts of identity and their relationship to claims about origins and migrations. These articles are particularly pertinent for issues and analyses surrounding boundaries, national or citizenship status, and 'category- generating' practices common to contemporary states.
Northeast India - Wikipedia
The four following authors deal in some way with the nationalist 'imagined communities' of India, China, Burma, and 'Tibetans' in Tibet and smaller cultural groups part of the greater Tibeto-Burman-speaking cultural complex. In chapter eight, for example, Kerstin Grothmann analyzes the origins and migration of the Memba population on both sides of the McMahon Line and PRC-India frontier and how this population employs their own origin narratives to negotiate their current status with Tibetans to the north and the Indian state to the south. In Chapter Eleven, Wettstein examines the Naga cultural- linguistic groups and their struggle to establish a collective identity in the nationalist -ic political struggles of India.
Wettstein found that deployment of claims of common 'nationality' or perhaps their origins and imagined community[-ies]?
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In another respect, Wellens moves away from localized ethnic deployment of Premi identity in Chapter Fifteen to analyze how the modern Chinese state has retrofitted Premi and Namuyi ethnic identity for its own purposes. While it is most obvious in the Wellens article, all these chapters share a common theme in revealing the totalizing though not necessarily overwhelming power of the state, or at least state-led or oriented identity, in shaping local perceptions of local origin and migration stories.
Gaenszle's article Chapter Two examines upland Nepal and in particular, how the Rai of southern Nepal map migration on the landscape in that the journey of the dead is a return to the point from which that their ancestors migrated — a journey fraught with danger and ambivalence - towards the place of origin.
His fascinating study of funeral rituals and origin myths, as well as the process of origin and return that links a landscape and 'ancestral roads', highlights social and metaphysical hierarches of the relationships between gods and humans, ancestors and the living. He found that the Apatani world began as a more unified whole, and that ancestors and objects can all be related back to a common source and ancestry.
Finally, in Chapter Five, Alex Aisher examines the stories of the Nyishi and their world and migration — and emphasizes how landscapes, the spirit world, and the dead co-evolve through processes of exchanges to create the world as the Nyishi know it. As the above attests, there is a broad spectrum of themes and localities that will interest Himalaya and migration specialists, historians, and anthropologists.
Description Origins and migration are core elements in the histories, identities and stories of Tibeto-Burman-speaking populations in the extended eastern Himalayas, a region stretching from eastern Nepal through Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and the hill tracts surrounding Assam, to upland Southeast Asia and southwest China. This book is the first to bring together contemporary research on Tibeto-Burman-speaking hill peoples in this region and the only multi-disciplinary study of the closely related topics of origins and migration in this part of Asia, presenting current research by anthropologists, folklorists, linguists and historians.
Through a series of case studies on local and regional populations, the contributors explore origins and migration in relation to theoretical and methodological approaches, language, identity and narrative. Product details Format Hardback pages Dimensions x x Other books in this series.
Through the Eye of Time Michael Tarr.
Continental/Continental: The Himalayas
Add to basket. Article Navigation. Close mobile search navigation Article navigation. Article Contents. Study sites. Water supply, distribution system and management. Governance, local bodies, and political priorities. Socioeconomic backgrounds and correlation with water distribution. Lessons from Singtam. Conclusion and ways forward.
Research Article May 09 This Site. Google Scholar. Chhayavani Namchu Chhayavani Namchu. Kalsang Nyima Kalsang Nyima.