About the Book :
This third volume in the Ranchi Anthropology Series is based on a concept first enunciated by L.P. Vidyarthi in his study of the Maler. Briefly put, the nature-man-spirit complex analyses the close interaction of man and nature in primitive societies and the belief in the supernatural and the spirit world arising out of this. Ten of the articles contained in this volume are empirical studies of widely scattered tribal communities in India ranging from the Maler, Parahaiya, Ho, the Soliga and the Kinner to the Negrito hunters, the Onge and the Nicobarese. The eleventh one is a mathematical computation of the concept itself-a novel method of analysis which goes to establish that in spite of changes the nature-man-spirit complex remains constant. The cultural ecological methodology used in the essays provides a deep insight into tribal life and culture. The hills, the forests and the sea provide the tribals with the means for their livelihood. Their animistic religion and their belief in spirits both benevolent and malevolent provide the third link in the trinity: nature, man and spirit. This excellent collection of articles explains the intimate relationship and interaction between social organisation and the religious complex and ecological conditions of these communities whose Rousseauesque state of innocence is yielding to the onslaught of civilization. Anthropologists as also sociaologists, economists, those interested in the tribals and others looking for the off-beat will find the book of absorbing interest.
About Author :
R.S. Mann, Ph. D. (Delhi) has about twenty years of research experience working among various tribal as well as the non tribal communities of India. He has published extensively in the fields of ethnology, social and cultural change and anthropology, both theoretical and applied. In him one finds a rare combination of theoretician and empiricist as is reflected in his books entitled "Anthropological and Sociological Theory", "The Ladakhi: A Study in Ethnography and Change" and "Nature Man Spirit Complex in Tribal India" (Concept, 1981).
Besides his association with various professional organisations, Dr. Mann has been involved in various regional and national research projects. Currently, Dr. Mann in Joint Director in Anthropological Survey of India, Dehradun.
Lalita Prasad Vidyarthi (b. 1931) received his doctorate from the University of Chicago and is now Professor and Chairman of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Ranchi, India. Currently (1974-1978) he is the President of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences and of the 10th International Congress of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences to be held in India in 1978. Dr. Vidyarthi is the President of the Indian Anthropological Association, a Founder-Member of the Indian Council of Social Sciences Research, Chairman of the Task Force on Development of Tribal Areas of the Planning Commission, and a Member of the Central Council on Tribal Research Institute of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. He is Founder-Editor of The Journal of Social Research, The Indian Anthropologist, and The Research Journal of Ranchi University. His major fields of research are the Tribal Culture of India including the Andaman and Nicobar Islands; Urban-Industrial political, and action Anthropology; Indian Civilization, the History of Indian Culture, Folklore, village studies and History of Anthropological Theories. He has to his credit several internationally popular books.