Folk-Tales of Mahakoshal
|Publisher:||B.R. PUBLISHING CORPORATION|
In time he became an authority on Indian tribal lifestyle and culture, particularly on the Gondi People. He served as the Deputy Director of the Anthropological Survey of India upon its formation in 1945. Post independence he took up Indian citizenship. Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru appointed him as an adviser on tribal affairs for north-eastern India, and later he was Anthropological Adviser to the Government of NEFA (now Arunachal Pradesh).
The tales in the present volume have been collected from the Mandla, Seoni, Balaghat, Bilaspur and Raipur Districts of the Central Provinces and from the Rewa, Kawardha, Saran garh and Bastar States. They have been recorded exclusively from members of the aboriginal tribes, for it is only among such people that one can suppose with any kind of probability that the stories repeated are truly oral and not derived from books. Those who read this book for pleasure-and I hope there will be some, for many of us stories seem to me beautiful wid interesting in themselves will not be concerned with their setting and background. But for a real understanding of the tales some knowledge of the people who tell them and the social and economic conditions against which they are set is essential. For the Maria we are fortunate in having a first-rate monograph by W. V. Grigson, The Maria Gonds of Bastar; for the tribes of the northern districts Russell and Hiralal's Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces may be consulted, as well as my own books on the Baiga, the Agaria, the Maria and the Muria.
An American anthropologist has estimated that we have now in printed form accessible to occidental readers some 3,000 Nationalist India divides the Central Provinces into Vidarbha to the west and Mahakoshal which includes most of the eastern States and Districts. N. Brown in J.A.O.S., xxxix, 2. I am not altogether sure about Brown's methods of scoring, and to judge by his bibliography given at 44ff. of the same volume of the J.A.O.S., he has missed a number of collections. But his figures will serve as a basis of comparison.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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