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Monday, 16 June 2014

The Primitive Culture of India


Title: The Primitive Culture of India
Author: Thomas Callan Hodson 
ISBN: 978-93-82395-57-7
Reprint: 2015
Binding: Hardcover
Language: English

About the Author:
Thomas Challan Hodson occupied key administrative positions in Bengal Khasia Hills, Assam and Manipur before retiring in 1901. Later on he held positions as Hon. Secretary of Royal Anthropological Institute, reader in Ethnology, Cambridge University; and as William Wyse Professor of Social Anthropology, Cambridge. He was a recipient of the coveted Silver Medal of the Royal Society of Arts. His highly acclaimed works include Primitive Culture of India; Languages Customs and Religion of India and Sensus Ethnography of India.

About the Book:
The book is the Lectures delivered in 1922 at The School of Oriental Studies (Univ. of London). Complexity of Indian Culture Analysis of Fundamental Elements Dream Values and Social Life Prepotency of the Past Mind and Body Belief in Reincarnation Language as a Social Product Assimilation of Customs and the Relations of Higher with Lower Culture Value in situ of Customs The Selective and Comparative Method Common Elements and Range of Variable Elements. Before I attempt to define the lower culture or to describe its geographical distribution in India, let me clear the ground by emphasising the fact that primitive characters are not to be looked for in Indian culture as it now is for existing savage races are not merely peoples who have been left behind in the stream of progress. They are not simply examples of early stages in the development of human culture beyond which other peoples have progressed. It can be shown that each one of them has a highly complex history in which rites and customs introduced from elsewhere, perhaps from some highly-advanced society, have blended with others of a really primitive or infantile kind. Though existing cultures may not be primitive in the sense that they represent simple and uncontaminated stages of social development, we can safely accept the primitive character of their mentality and take them as guides to the history of mental development, though they are of very questionable value as guides to the order of social development. We must therefore dismiss from our minds such catch words as arrested development or continuity of progress. Let us remember the antiquity of India, the complexity of its social groupings, and the immense range of its culture.

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