Friday, May 25, 2012
Moda Goa : history and style / Wendell Rodricks ; photographs by Mark Sequeira
This book is the very first effort to document the unique history of the
costumes of Goa – a tiny Indian state on its west coast. Taking a dispassionate
look at the events throughout the Goan history: from the earliest times, it
shows how Goa came to evolve its distinctive garment style -- which is a unique
blend of “international aesthetic and Indian emotion”.
The author explores the influences of the early tribes, Buddhists, Jainas,
Hindus, Muslims, the Portuguese and, finally, of the Western style dresses of
the newly converted Goan Catholics to show that Goans are what they are today,
because of the many peoples and cultures that have touched this land. It was in
Goa that the first ever Indo-Western garments evolved. Despite their obvious
identity with Hinduism, Goans know how their clothing heritage has been coloured
by diverse cultural influences. “Goan costume: a product of cultural and
historical evolution, contributes to the themes of international design sweeping
the modern world, where ethnicity is incorporated within the parameters of
international wearability. Goans wear their clothing heritage with happiness,
pride and consciousness of all that has passed before, and what will come in the
future for Goan costume, dress, synthesis and style,” says the author.
An intensely-researched work drawing, among others, on the never-before-used
archival sources, Wendell Rodricks’ book unveils a rich tapestry of the history
and clothing – together with a surfeit of visuals, including rare illustrations
of European travellers and exquisite photographs by Mark Sequeira: one of
India’s finest fashion photographers.
Wendell Rodricks: known as India’s Guru of Minimalism, has written for many
periodicals and books. He has also lectured on World Costume History, interned
at museums in Lisbon and New York.
An intensive course in Manipuri editors, B. Syamala Kumari, N. Pramodini.
Manipuri is one of the scheduled languages of India. The outcome of a series of
workshops, the volume presents a total of 60 lessons, meant primarily for the
Manipuri teacher trainees who were not acquainted with the language earlier,
which constitute the Basic Course of learning Manipuri in the North East
Regional Language Centre, Guwahati of the Central Institute of Indian Languages.
The Basic Course is a three-phase ten-month course of 1100 hours of instruction.
The Basic Course is intended to help readers perceive and reproduce sounds and
their meaningful sequences, form sentences orally from given patterns and
lexical items, narrate specific events orally, and converse with the teachers
and fellow trainees on specific topics.
The lessons in the book comprise dialogue, drills, exercises, vocabulary and
notes. The language variety used for the dialogues and other purposes is the
standard colloquial as spoken by educated Manipuris in the valley districts of
Manipur. Some of the lessons in the book are provided with literature on
Parivardhit Devanagari using extra symbols to represent the different Manipuri
To make the teaching much more relevant, the work contains characters and situations that are not typical of the Manipur environment and context but are essentially relevant to the use of Manipuri language by the adult second language learners. Though the book is the prescribed text for the Basic Course phase of learning Manipuri, it may also be used for any generalised second language programme in Manipuri by adult learners and their teachers. Read More
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Resource development and environmental change / editors, Abdul Munir and Hifzur Rahman.
The Department of Geography, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, India,
organised an international conference on the theme: Resource Development and
Environmental Change-Emerging Issues and Challenges, during January 2009. The
Conference was spread over 16 technical sessions and about 300 research papers
were presented by eminent social scientists and researchers from within and
outside India. This 3 vol. set puts together a selection of over 70
presentations of the event dealing with a very wide range of specific themes and
research issues broadly related to areas such as environmental changes,
management and development of natural resources, sustainable agriculture,
economic development, food security, biodiversity, health and waste management,
regional disparities, land utilisation and population dynamics. The learned
authors have reflected upon their empirical research work in these areas and
their research output holds high and policy oriented relevance for the
developing countries and hence the publication has a strong reference value for
the concerned scholars.
Trafficking in women and children in India : emerging perspectives, issues and strategies
The volume identifies trafficking of women and children in particular as a
growing lucrative trade. It examines reasons for increase in trafficking of
women and children, affecting rich and poor countries especially from backward
and deprived areas to urban conglomerates. It views the efforts undertaken for
rescue and rehabilitation of victims, probing the role of national and
international agencies, governments and other stakeholders in preventing the
The volume, based on the proceedings of a national seminar, has contributions
from experts assessing the situation in India and articulating the challenges
that need to be addressed. With case studies that bear relevance to specific
states of India in the North-east and Kerala among others and to neighbours of
India, it examines social and cultural features of societies. It analyses mating
traditions among Indian tribes, for instance. Polygamy and polyandry in Indian
communities are examined. It also discusses the anti-trafficking legislation in
India and presents an overview of national and international legal framework on
The emphasis is on protecting human rights of commercial sex workers and
extending socio-economic security to them and dealing with the interrelationship
between child labour and trafficking—the former being one of the reasons for
trafficking of children. The volume argues that human trafficking is mainly
concerned with economic dimensions, citing data from various institutional
reports and other sources to come up with a well-researched book. It also
highlights the role of international conventions on preventing trafficking of
women and children, like the UN Convention on Transnational Organised Crime and
the SAARC Convention on preventing and combating trafficking for prostitution.
Thursday, May 17, 2012
Ordinary life in Mughal India : the evidence from painting / S.P. Verma.
The study focuses on the life of the ordinary people in Mughal India relying
mainly on the paintings of the era for detailed insights. It comes in an attempt
to highlight the significance of evidences such as the visual arts of the bygone
era in understanding the history of the past. It offers for an in-depth survey
paintings and sculptures that represent the common people, based on a belief
that it is the visual records that describe in detail the life of the ordinary
people in its purest form. It presents some ninety illustrations to provide a
visual documentation of the life of the ordinary people and their work, throwing
light on the way the men and women in the villages lived.
The volume features a range of paintings that can be traced to a variety of
schools that flourished at the time. The focus however is on the Imperial Mughal
school that has attained a unique name of its own when one talks of medieval art
of India. It discusses the paintings of the school, especially those
concentrating on depicting the life of the people, for the element of the real
in the representation, the vividness in detail that they reveal and their
draughtsmanship. Based on careful study, it scrutinises the visuals to interpret
aspects of ordinary life—a struggle for bare subsistence that forms the most
essential part of living for the common man. The aspects covered include the
life and skills of workmen and professionals during the medieval era, the way of
life of the holy men, food and use of tobacco by the people, the nature of
dwellings and hut settlements of the people and modes of travelling.
Prof. S. P. Verma has published extensively on Indian miniatures and British
paintings narrating the events of the Revolt of 1857. He is the recipient of
awards presented by the Indian Academy of Fine Arts, Amritsar, in 1981 and by
the Academy of Fine Arts, Kolkata, in 1982.
An English dictionary of the Tamil verb = : A?kilam-Tamil_ vin_ai akarati / chief editor, Harold F. Schiffman ;
The Dictionary comes in an attempt to have an English-knowing user get
acquainted with a Tamil verb irrespective of whether the person begins with an
English verb or some other item like an adjective. It gives verb class and
transitivity status for all Tamil entries, by giving examples of Tamil usage and
their English equivalents in sentence frames and by providing spoken
pronunciation and examples whenever a literary Tamil form has a spoken
equivalent. First the English entry is given followed by the Tamil equivalent in
Tamil script; the verb class and transitivity specification; spoken Tamil
pronunciation; the English definitions; some additional Tamil entries and then
example sentences or phrases.
The focus is on certain specific areas. Keeping in mind that most English-Tamil
dictionaries do not give verb classes but without the information non-Tamils
cannot know how to predict the various tense forms of the Tamil verb, it gives
the verb classification system of Graul to serve both for the Literary Tamil
forms and for the Spoken Tamil forms. Realising the importance of spoken Tamil
which non-Tamils need to know in order to communicate with Tamils, the DVD that
accompanies the book gives the spoken example sentences to give a better idea of
what the language sounds like as spoken by mother-tongue speakers.
The volume has many example sentences illustrating the morphological and/or
syntactic frames that verbs occur in, which are given in both written and spoken
Tamil forms. It makes use of modern usage, unlike other out-of-date dictionaries
which represent an English of the 18th-19th centuries and Tamil forms that lack
in modernity. For example, for English equivalents and translations of example
sentences, the dictionary presents modern colloquial North American usage and
even gives informal equivalents as synonyms in some cases. So the English
translation of the example sentences may not be a literal translation of the
Tamil but rather a colloquial equivalent that captures the overall meaning.
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Temple architecture of Bengal : analysis of stylislic [i.e. stylistic] evolution from fifth to nineteenth century
In India’s architectural history, temples of Bengal find just a cursory
reference – as a small aberrant type. Applying correctives to this aberration,
the authors here show how Bengal temple architecture, with its distinct regional
style, merits a far wider recognition than it has been accorded so far.
Recorded evidence: notably archaeological and epigraphical, suggests that
significant temple-building activity started in Bengal from the Gupta era (in
early fifth century), when a large number of Vishnu and Shiva temples were built
– with the revival of the Brahmanical faith. Later, during the Pala rule,
several outstanding Buddhist structures came up throughout their territories.
And the activity continued till the late medieval period. Sadly, most of these
ancient structures have disappeared under the onslaughts of time, natural
calamities, and adverse socio-political history. However, on the basis of the
limited surviving examples, the authors show how temple architecture of Bengal
forms one of the most distinctive groups among the sacred buildings of India.
The book explores the stylistic evolution of Bengal temple art -- covering a
vast time-span of about 1,500 years: from the Gupta period that marked the
beginning of a large-scale temple-building activity to its final flowering in
the late medieval era when the region saw some of the finest terracotta temples.
Making a close study of the representative temple types, it offers an in-depth
analysis of their stylistic nuances – together with the architectural merits of
the temples like, for instance, their unique design, significant typological
innovations, scale of buildings, degree of terracotta embellishments, skills of
execution and, of course, the present state of their preservation. Besides the
Brahmanical Hindu temples, the authors study Bengal’s Jain temples and the
Buddhist stupas and viharas as well. The book is generously illustrated with
photographs, conjectural drawings, and maps.
Dr Sibabrata Halder and Dr Manju Halder, (both born, 1949), are Senior
Professors, Bengal Engineering and Science University, Howrah.
Tribal religions / edited by S. Shyamkishore Singh / ISBN 9788187586524
Though generally considered as a cultural universal, Religion is a complex term,
with many varied connotations. It eludes a precise definition. Then there arises
a yet more problematic question: What is tribal religion? Another question that
logically follows is: how, or in which way, is religion relevant to the tribal
life-worlds and systems of belief in the supernatural? Putting together 25
scholarly papers, this volume addresses these and other kindred questions about
tribal religion from different perspectives.
A nearly eight per cent of India’s over 1,200 million population comprises
tribal communities, inhabiting different parts of the country. Despite their
significant presence, many, even in India, are ignorant of the tribal
socio-cultural life and belief systems. The primary reason being: most of the
tribes have, for centuries, been completely divorced from the mainstream life –
untouched by the phenomenal socioeconomic changes that India has experienced in
over six decades since its independence. The tribals, on the contrary, are
confronted by serious, altogether new problems that threaten their very survival
and cultural identity – leave alone the threats to their indigenous faiths and
Written by widely-recognized scholars, the papers here present the traditional
religious beliefs and ritualistic practices of various tribes of India, more
particularly of the North-Eastern India which has the largest clusters of tribal
communities. Going into the nature of tribal societies and various theories
about the origin and development of religion, the volume offers indepth,
well-researched accounts of the traditional religion (including religious
beliefs, rituals, and ceremonies) of the Karbis, the Rabhhas, the Khasis, the
Garos, the Bodos, the Boroks, the Thadou Kukis, the Paites, the Andros, the
Nagas, the Sumis, and the Santals, among others – together with a look at the
issues that plague them. A few papers also consider the religious beliefs of the
tribes in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and other parts of South India.
Dr S. Shyamkishore Singh is former Senior Professor of Philosophy and Dean,
School of Humanities, Manipur University.
Dictionary of the Great Andamanese language : English-Great Andamanese-Hindi
The Great Andamanese language is said to be one of the very old languages of the world. However, it is on the brink of extinction. It is in this background that the multilingual dictionary has been published. The dictionary documents the rapidly perishing language.
The dictionary provides thorough and systematic language documentation to give invaluable insight into the ancient cognitive world of the Great Andamanese people. The conceptual structures that are embedded in lexical items reflect the collective mental representation of ideas and objects by members of the speech community. The grammatical structures of the language are unique and these are presented. The Dictionary presents the current form of the language, a kione, relying on the four Great Andamanese languages, two of which, Khora and Bo, have recently become extinct. The painstaking research features numerous words used in the language for a variety of things including natural phenomena. The scientific names are presented along with the Latin names in an appendix.
The Dictionary comes complete with a meticulously designed CD-ROM of the dictionary backed by original sound recordings of Great Andamanese speakers. The sounds have been recorded in natural surroundings. It also has coloured pictures of various items from the Great Andamanese life.
Anvita Abbi is Prof. of Linguistics at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. She is a distinguished researcher in languages of the Indian subcontinent.