ANTROCOM

Online Journal of Anthropology

Volume 19, Number 2, 2023

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 The First Burning of the Earth (and Halley’s Comet): The Convergence of an Ancient Anishinabe Cosmic Impact Oral Tradition, the Aftermath and Interpretation of the Fairy Point Rock Art Panel with Modem Science?

by HERMAN BENDER

Did the distant ancestors of the Anishinabe Witness a catastrophic cosmic impact, the memory preserved in oral tradition as The First Burning of the Earth? Was the object that impacted the earth, according to Ojibwe elders, Halley’s Comet? Did the impact usher in climate collapse and the Younger Dryas 12,900 years ago? Was the event recorded in rock art? To help answer these questions, particular attention is given to the catastrophic event described in the oral tradition; origin of the Anishinabe cultural hero Nanabush; Nanabush’s reconstruction, renewal and repopulating of the earth following a deluge or great flood; the Fairy Point rock art panel in Ontario, Canada and a particular symbol thought to represent a comet. However, cosmic and natural forces that may have been the inspiration for the rock art symbol (and oral tradition) include not only Halley’s Comet, but the Great Comets that occurred between 1618 and 1910, the Aurora Borealis, bolides, fireballs, the Great Earthquake of 1663, earthquake lights, supernovae and the planet Venus. Lastly, the Younger Dryas Impact Hypothesis or “Clovis Comet” debate, with comparison to details in The First Burning of the Earth, is discussed as are other apparent Ice Age or “Deep Time” memories.

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A comparative and complementary perspective on the Babylonian algebraic logic and music in CBS 10996 and CBS 1766. Principles and rules in an ordered system

by VERONICA DERIU and DIEGO SERRA

This comparative study gives ancillary elements supporting the leading theories on Babylonian music, showing the relationship between the numerical series and several resulting geometrical figures, which logically precede the writing of the tablet(s) and were probably part of the musician’s analysis and reasoning as “implied elements” of the same tablets. Taking into consideration Cicero’s Somnium Scipionis describing the orbits’ sounds, a few ancillary elements have emerged, highlighting (from a different perspective) innovative – but foreseeable – aspects of the Mesopotamian algebraic logic applying to music, suggesting additional uses of the two texts at issue, in conformity with the leading scholars’ opinions. New graphic representations of the tablet are provided. This work should be meant as a preliminary note underlining new data. Further interdisciplinary studies and research (on Babylonian mathematics, archaeology, archaeo-musicology; astronomy) will be necessary in future to confirm, expand or question the results discussed in this work.

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Three Warclubs : The Ball-Headed, Gunstock, and Sword Clubs in the Beltrami Collection

by SANDRA BUSATTA  

War clubs were the preferred fighting weapon because Native American warriors could increase their social status by killing their enemies in single combat. In Mississippian art, they were often depicted in conjunction with images and symbols of war. One type of club, now called a sword club, appears to have originated in the South and perhaps in Mexico. They were also popular among the Iroquois and northern New England tribes. Gunstock clubs, found in the western Great Lakes region and Eastern Prairies, are generally considered a western variant of the sword club. The ball-headed club was also a western variant of the sword club and was common from the mid and northern Atlantic coast to the western Great Lakes. In this context, this article analyses the three war clubs purchased by Beltrami in 1823 in the upper Mississippi and Red River area: a sword club, a ball club, and a gunstock club, now in the Caffi Museum in Bergamo, Italy.
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Mummies and ‘impossible’ drugs.A new look to the Svetlana Balabanova’s ethnobotanical revisionism

by GIORGIO SAMORINI  

In the 1990s, the Hungarian chemist Svetlana Balabanova undertook a series of chemical analyses aimed at searching for drugs in almost a thousand human remains from the archaeological sites of four continents. Most of these analyses resulted in findings that were ‘impossible’ from the point of view of the accepted history of drugs, such as the presence of cocaine in Egyptian mummies, derivatives of Cannabis in Peruvian mummies, and nicotine in Eurasian mummies and skeletons; results that contradicted the established knowledge regarding the post-Columbian diffusion of cocaine, hemp and tobacco between the Old and New Worlds. What caused a sensation and brought Balabanova to global prominence were her theses to justify these results, which conjured up transatlantic journeys by the ancient Egyptians to reach South America, with a commercial exchange of coca and hemp, and the presence of native species of tobacco in the Old World. This article presents a review of the Balabanova affair based on a comprehensive consultation of all the publications of this scholar concerning archaeological and ethnobotanical research. Careful observation of the numerous contradictions and inconsistencies present in these studies lead to new deductions, which reveal the strong possibility of falsification of the results of various chemical analyses, and the likelihood that other chemical analyses were never even performed. The publication of the results of these ‘ghost’ researches can be explained by analysing Balabanova’s character, as evidenced by reading her writings on ethnobotanical revisionism which are generally not taken into consideration, and which show how much Balabanova can—and should be—considered a ‘proto-conspiracy theorist’, whose only interest was to ‘alter our cultural history’, at whatever cost.
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Archeology of psychoactive sources: between iconological studies and chemical analyses

by MARIA LAURA LEONE

In recent years, microanalytical chemistry is making decisive contributions to the identification of psychoactive sources in archaeological contexts in different parts of the world. Most of the cases presented in this article were preceded and motivated by iconological studies which, directly or indirectly, were based on the reading of art, craftsmanship and graphic-symbolic aspects, and from which it was deduced the use of psychoactive sources. These iconological interpretations have often been considered as imaginative suppositions, but the concordance between form, decoration and chemical findings highlights how semantic language in archeology is not a secondary or negligible value. Archeometry is finally shedding light on controversial cases, and promises the birth of a specific discipline. The psychoactive sources taken into consideration concern the opium poppy, datura and ergot, traced in archaeological samples between California, the Eastern Mediterranean, Italy, Spain and Greece, and concern the art of the Chumash, the Daunians, Grotta dei Cervi in Porto Badisco, and other geographical areas.

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A Study on Satriya Dance in a Vaishnavite Monastery of Majuli, Assam

by ARIFUR ZAMAN and BARASHA ROY

Assamese Vaishnavite monasteries are frequent venues for performances of the Satriya Dance, a popular type of classical Indian dance (satras). Satriya dance is a source of tremendous pride for the state of Assam because it has contributed to the state’s distinct identity. There is a deep relationship between this style of dance and the Vaishnavism and satra institutions of Assam. This dancing style has the majority of the classical elements. The Satriya dance is an integral part of life at Uttar Kamalabari Satra, one of the most prominent Vaishnavite monasteries in the Majuli area. The bhakats, who are Vaishnavite monks, and the trainees, who are not monks, are both taught this dance form. There is a strong cultural and social connection between this dance form and the state of Assam and the surrounding area. This satra is one of the few places where the ancient dance ritual is still performed regularly. The study of the history of Satriya dance and its many guises took place at the Uttar Kamalabari Satra in Majuli, Assam, which is famous for the heritage of the aforementioned dance form. This was done as part of the current study, the purpose of which was to investigate both of these factors.

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Triple Burden of Malnutrition (TBM) among the adults Gope of Purulia district, West Bengal, India

by SHIULE GOPE, LATU LAL MAHATO, KAILASH CHANDRA and SADARUDDIN BISWAS

The relationship between the diet of a mother and the wellbeing of a fetus and an infant continues to be a matter of great importance despite uncertainty and controversy because of various dimensions attached to it. The current study was undertaken to reveal the association between maternal nutrition and foetal growth parameters. A total of 455 ultrasound observations from 229 respondents were collected using a Prospective Observational Cohort Mixed Longitudinal study design in second and last trimester of pregnancy from one private and two government hospitals in Pune, India where direct interviews were conducted to find out dietary habits and practices apart from 24-hour diet recall survey and Food frequency questionnaire. The result shows positive correlation between Nuts and Oil Seeds & FL; Meat and Poultry & BPD and negative correlation between Phosphorus & HC; Riboflavin & HC; New Iron & HC; New Iron & AC; Old Iron & HC; Sodium & HC; Sodium & AC; Moisture & HC; Mineral & HC; Fiber & HC; Copper & AC; Condiments and Spices & W@B. The study might help with dietary recommendations by medical practitioners to improve the foetal and maternal health.

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Some Traditional plants used by the Ahoms in health management and medicine in upper Assam, India

by DALI DUTTA

Various identified and unidentified plant species are used by different communities in the state for the treatment of a number of diseases. However, the ethnomedicinal practices of the Ahom community of the state are hardly known. Therefore, an attempt was made to study the ethnomedicinal practices of these communities. The Ahoms are one of the major Mongoloid population groups in Assam. In this paper, I have tried to describe the vegetables, how they are used in their daily life and how they cure diseases.

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Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome among Bodo tribal women population of Assam, Northeast India

by CHUMI DAS, TILUTTOMA BARUAH and NITISH MONDAL

As the title indicates, the present work is to analyze and understand the traditional practice of gift-giving among the Konyak of the Tobu area. In recent years, many changes have taken place in the social and cultural front that resulted in the giving up of traditional practices such as animism, tattooing, etc. However, the tradition of gift-giving is among the few that have survived among the people. Gift-giving is an intriguing and universal practice found in all societies which are still yet to be interpreted by social scientists and anthropologists have always been fascinated by it. The value of gift-giving usually reflects the weight of a relationship. The value of gift-giving can be balanced with respect to the social positions of both the donor and recipients. It is a practice that integrates a society and this practice can be seen among the people of the Konyak tribe. The gift locally known as lah-suk is a pig thigh. It is usually given to the woman of one’s family who is already married to another man from a different family. The problem is thus to understand how this practice of gift-giving has its place in the Konyak society. The goal is to understand the paradigm of such practice by applying the method of observation and interview and by supplementing it with secondary sources. The result of this study is the discovery of its importance in relation to marriage and family, and the position of women in contemporary Konyak society. By studying the traditional practice and tampering with the anthropological perspective, one’s own understanding can be enriched in the understanding of the gift-giving practice.

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Use of MUAC and BMI to assess the nutritional status of elderly Gond in Sagar district, Madhya Pradesh, India

by AJAY KUMAR AHIRWAR, AWEDHESH NARAYAN SHARMA and RAJESH KUMAR GAUTAM

Anthropometric techniques have always been the preferred method of assessing nutrition to determine malnutrition, overweight and obesity. The use of BMI and MUAC is widely accepted, although the MUAC requires validation. The present cross-sectional study was conducted among a total of 552 elderly respondents of Gond tribe selected from 30 villages of Kesli block of Sagar district (M.P.) including 273 males and 278 females. Weight, height and mean upper arm circumference were measured, and the relationships between mean upper arm circumference and BMI were analyzed. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis was performed and the area under the ROC curve was assessed. Sensitivity and specificity for different values of mid-upper arm circumference were calculated. The MUAC was found to have a significant and positive correlation with body weight (r=0.727), height (r=0.314) and BMI (r=0.626). The cut-off value was <23.0 cm. It can be concluded that there is a positive and significant correlation between BMI and MUAC in both men and women. The study also attempted to establish a suitable cut-off value for the detection of malnutrition using BMI and MUAC in the elderly Gond tribal population of central India.

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When sacred land is converted into public spaces, how does this affect the memory and lives of the Karbi: A case study of Chomkan -3 and -4

by AMPHU TERANGPI

The article deals with the concept of ‘Chomkan’ performed by the Karbi tribe in North East India. This rite is one of the most important rituals of the Karbis. It is the post-funeral ritual of the Karbis and deals with various aspects of life and death, including rebirth and regeneration in the next life. The Karbis’ verbal and non-verbal art forms reflect the philosophy and worldview of the Chomkan ritual. Chomkan is a very complex, multi-layered and elaborate cultural and social event. It is a communal ritual that is very chaotic, colourful and expensive. A large number of people from the respective clan as well as the entire population of the village are needed to perform the ritual. Each family traditionally and historically had a specific place or location where the Chomkan was performed. This research paper will discuss the significance of the Chomkan ritual for the Karbis, focusing particularly on the question of the particular impact and memories of a family member. It will address the difficulties faced by the family in coping with the current rate of urbanisation and the consequences faced by the workers in the construction of the KASA stadium or public spaces.

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Eating behavior and nutritional status of the tribal population in India: An overview

by ANKITA BHOI and SHAILENDRA KUMAR

A healthy existence depends on adequate nutrition, which is a basic human need. As a result of their economic, social and cultural activities, indigenous peoples have different dietary habits that vary throughout the world. The nutritional status of tribal groups is inadequate because they do not know about their food and the nutrients associated with it. Numerous factors influence their knowledge, including their level of education and their proximity to government institutions. However, they also have a strong traditional knowledge about their environment, food availability, health problems, etc. This paper is based on some studies and articles dealing with the traditional knowledge and food habits of the tribal groups. It also deals with the food available to the people in different places, the nutrients they get, their impact on health and the risk factors arising from nutritional deficiency. It also covers the details of research publications that have been published and analysed by specific time periods, groups and areas. The current review includes data from the research articles available on Google Scholar, Pub Med and J-Store. According to the research papers, we can say that the tribal community has a distinct knowledge about the availability of food in their environment.

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Body composition of Bengalee preschool children of Jalpaiguri, West Bengal, India.

by ARINDAM BISWAS, KAUSHIK BOSE and ARGINA KHATUN

This review evaluates research on dietary behaviour and nutritional content in different tribal peoples. The relationship between dietary behaviour and socio-cultural status, economic status, changes in dietary behaviour, factors of change and their impact on nutritional status were examined. It became clear that the dietary habits of tribal groups make an important contribution to their traditional knowledge, customs, environmental ecology and food availability. Their cultural knowledge, customs, natural ecology and food availability have a significant impact. The cultural norms, rules, etc. of a tribal group all have an important relationship with their food. A particular clan, age group or gender is not allowed to consume certain foods. The lack of nutrients in food has a significant impact on health. Eating habits are dictated by environmental ecology. It has been proven that using traditional cooking methods improves the quality of food and overall health. Facts about deplorable economic conditions, declining food quality and inadequate nutrition have come to light. The socio-cultural and economic status of the population as well as the educational and nutritional awareness of women are currently directly related to eating behaviour and nutritional levels, showing that women have a significant influence on their own nutrition and the health of their families. Furthermore, the food that pregnant and breastfeeding women consume before, during and after pregnancy is linked to the nutritional level and health of the foetus and children. The conscious management of maternal obesity is linked to their health and that of their family. In addition, changes in the ecology of tribal or non-tribal populations due to migration and displacement have been shown to have a negative impact on their health. Infant mortality and low birth weight have increased due to nutritional deficiencies in women’s diets.

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Relationship between nutritional status of mothers and their children under 5 years of age in India: A Scoping Review

by ASHALATA HEMBRAM, ISHITA MUKHERJEE and SAMIRAN BISAI

If a woman begins life as a malnourished child, with frequent illness and poor nutrition in childhood, she arrives in adulthood in a suboptimal state to take on pregnancy and lactation. As the conditions that lead to malnutrition continue to affect her and her offspring, they are further disadvantaged by a vicious intergenerational cycle of poverty and malnutrition. This study relies exclusively on secondary sources of information. The aim of this study is to examine the relationship between the nutritional status of mothers and their children under 5 years of age in India. The study was selected through a literature search following a standard protocol. The search included electronic databases (Research Gate, BMC Paediatrics, BMC Public Health, IJCM and IJCR etc.). A total of 84 research papers from the years 2003-2023 were searched. Only English-language literature was included in the study. Of the 84 research papers, a total of 13 research papers were included in the current literature review. In this review, the impact of maternal nutritional status on children in India is largely examined using cross-sectional studies. Thus, it is necessary to use other study designs in this context to obtain more information. Some maternal factors such as maternal age, BMI, education, occupation, maternal anaemia, nutritional knowledge etc. are considered to assess the nutritional status of the children. In addition to these factors, the number of children, previous birth interval, women’s ability, income, type of family nutritional factors, etc. should also be considered to assess the nutritional status of the child.

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The Kodagu Kapala Community: An Unknown to Known Journey

by JAI PRABHAKAR S. C. and ASHOK PATIL

India is home to many different cultures, traditions and customs articulated and represented by different ethnic groups, communities and castes. The cultures have emerged in India through the development of indigenous civilizations and the arrival of different cultural groups from different parts of the world at different times. Kapala is a distinct community living in Kodagu district in the state of Karnataka. They look like the mixed descendants of the Ethiopian Siddis (Siddhis) of the South African continent. Kunhi Boltu is a folk deity and immortal personality of the community who has attained god-like status. The Kapalas worshipped their ancestors and respected the forces of nature that governed their lives. The aim of the ethnographic study is to get to know the Kapala community and their way of life, beliefs and practises. To learn more about the Kapala society and their culture, anthropological research tools and techniques such as holistic, ethnographic, comparative and historical methods were used. Participant observation and in-depth interviews were used in the study. Both primary and secondary data were used for the study. The primary data required for the study was collected in the field while the secondary data was obtained from the existing literature on the Kapala community. The research paper is organised as follows: The first part deals with detailed information about the Kapala community. The second part deals with the Kapala society and their way of life, beliefs and practises..

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Prevalence of depression, anxiety and stress among university going girls during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lucknow City, Uttar Pradesh, India

by KAVYA PAL and K. K. N. SHARMA

At a global level, COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the WHO. During this crucial phase of the pandemic, people’s lives went through a rollercoaster, with lower life expectancy and greater fear of losing loved ones. In a cross-sectional study of 202 female students, the state of depression, anxiety and stress due to the COVID-19 pandemic was examined using DASS-21. t-test and ANOVA test were used for statistical analysis. The result indicates that the girls had moderate to extremely severe cases of depression, anxiety and stress which were associated with socio-demographic background and COVID-19 pandemic.

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Demographic Dynamics among three Naga Populations of Nagaland

by YUMNAM LUXMI DEVI, DEBASHMITA BANERJEE and BENRITHUNG MURRY

The present study explores the demographic dynamics of the Naga population of Dimapur with respect to their population structure, fertility, and mortality along with other reproductive factors. Data have been collected from 460 Angami, 544 Ao and 573 Sumi women from 12 villages of Dimapur. Information on demographic profile, reproductive performances of mother, healthcare behavior and socio-economic features of the Nagas of Dimapur district were collected by using standard pre-tested semi-structure schedule. Results have shown that the sex-ratios of children (0-14 years) were lower than that of the reproductive ages. Moreover step-wise regression analysis shows that the present age of mother, age at marriage and age at conceptions are the statistically significant factors influencing fertility and mortality among Angamis, Sumis and Aos. An inverse relationship between fertility and education and economic status were observed in the present populations. Mortality status in these tribal groups is much reduced as compared to the present status in Nagaland and other states of India. An in-depth study with combined biological, socio-cultural and economic insights into their population structure is required for comprehensive understanding of demographic processes in this region.

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Effects of anxiety and depression on the quality of life of elderly brain tumor patients

by BETSY BABY, AJILAL P., AMMU G. NAIR and VAISHAKH BHARATHAN

Mental health plays a crucial role in well-being and quality of life. The diagnosis of a brain tumor and subsequent surgery can have a significant impact on a patient’s well-being, especially in the natural course of aging. The uncertainty of the diagnosis, the potential impact on daily life and the after-effects of surgery can lead to psychological problems such as anxiety and depression in older people. The aim of the present study is to investigate the impact of depression and anxiety on the quality of life of older people who have undergone brain tumor resection. A descriptive research design was used to select a sample of 50 postoperative patients aged 55-75 years. The Malayalam version of HADS and WHOQOL-BREF were administered along with the study of other socio-demographic variables. Results: Correlation analyzes, ANOVA and post-hoc tests were performed. Results showed that high anxiety scores were associated with lower quality of life (p = .006). However, the level of depression had no significant effect on quality of life. In addition, there was a positive correlation between general health and QoL score (r = 0.685, p < .001), suggesting that better general health was associated with better QoL. The study suggests that psychological and physical factors should be considered in the assessment and treatment of older people who have undergone brain tumor resection. The results could help rehabilitation professionals, physicians as well as caregivers of post-operative patients to understand their psychological well-being and take appropriate measures to help them recover quickly.

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Pilgrimage as the pillar of national unity at Kechopalri Lake in West Sikkim: A sociological observation

by HASIBUL RAHAMAN

We all know that a coin has two sides, which are seen as the beauty of a thing, a person, a place, a thought, and so on. Just as there is unity and diversity, these two phenomena are connected. Unity has several dimensions such as territory, language, etc. Moreover, pilgrimage is another important element of togetherness and falls under the umbrella term of diversity. This paper attempts to capture the need for unity in the present context of India.

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Somatotypes of adolescent Pnar girls of Jaintia Hills districts of Meghalaya

by J. W. DKHAR

Adolescence is the time when human biology is changing rapidly, so the changes in physique during this phase are quite obvious. The present study was conducted among 289 Pnar girls aged 10-18 years living in Jaintia Hills district of Meghalaya to assess the variation in somatotypes among Pnar girls during adolescence. An attempt was made to include all the girls who were willing to cooperate in the sample to obtain a sufficient sample size. The Heath-Carter anthropometric somatotype method was used. The anthropometric measurements were carried out using standard techniques. The results of the present study showed that the mean somatotype of Pnar girls was endomorphy 3.08, mesomorphy 3.79 and ectomorphy 2.35. Mesomorphy was the most dominant at 41%, followed by endomorphy at 34% and ectomorphy at 25%. The study also shows that the somatotypes in the present study change with increasing age.

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The psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Indian adolescents

by PRERITA DOBHAL and KETAKI CHANDIOK

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus. The WHO recognized the spread of COVID-19 as a pandemic on 11 March 2020. The present study sheds light on the mental health of adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic by assessing the 4 psychological problems – post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety and stress. A cross-sectional study was conducted among 60 individuals from the Delhi NCR region of India. An online questionnaire was created using “Google Form” and sent to all participants through social media platforms. The 2 psychological scales IES-R and DASS-21 were used and the collected data was statistically analyzed. The data from this study indicated that gender was a risk factor for overall high levels of PTSD, depression, anxiety and stress, with all 4 factors significantly elevated in women. There was no association between age and education with the 4 parameters. However, a person’s occupation contributed to high levels of psychological distress, with all 4 parameters significantly elevated in students compared to working professionals..

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Pottery traditions among the Hira and Kumar potters of Barpeta district in Assam, India: A comparative study

by JAYANTA ROY and MANJIL HAZARIKA

The tradition of pottery-making in various communities was described by several British administrators and explorers in their writings. There are also sporadic references to these communities in the Census of India reports published in the last two centuries. Specific studies on the technology, types, artistic features, the community of potters and their socio-economic background were detailed in later works published in the twentieth century, which continues till today, but with more focus and finer details. These studies are of great importance for the ethnographic perspective, historical background of the craft and ethno-archaeological viewpoints. Hiras and Kumars are two distinct groups making pottery in Assam. This article is an attempt to examine and compare the pottery traditions of the Hira and Kumar potters of Barpeta district in Assam, focusing on the technology and variety of vessels and objects made by them.

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Tribal education in Kashmir: overcoming socio-cultural barriers to inclusive learning

by MANSOOR AHMAD and ANEESA SHAFI

The educational remoteness of Scheduled Tribes (STs) is still a major issue in many countries, especially in India. This study provides an insightful examination of the educational disadvantage of the Scheduled Tribes in the particular setting of Kashmir, India. The study examines socio-economic, cultural and political aspects of the region that impact educational disparities in the Scheduled Tribes population to provide an in-depth analysis of the factors that cause these disparities. It draws attention to the difficulties and barriers to their academic advancement, including institutional bias, poverty, limited access to quality education and cultural differences. The study also highlights the need to develop context-sensitive strategies, community involvement, inclusive policies and targeted interventions to close the education gap and provide equal opportunities to Scheduled Tribes for a better future.

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Women’s entrepreneurship development and Marital Violence in Bangladesh

by RIPON KUMAR SARKAR, ELIAS HOSSAIN and ABUL HASAN CHOWDHURY

The main objective of this study was to investigate the impact of women’s entrepreneurship development on marital violence in Bangladesh. The findings of the present study show that various factors are associated with the relationship between women’s entrepreneurship development and spousal violence. For example, woman’s age, woman’s education, man’s education level, woman’s income, man’s income, woman’s occupational status and property status have a significant impact on married women and their vulnerability to spousal violence against women in Bangladesh.

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Revisiting Knowledge Production and Colonialism

by K. M. VISHNU NAMBOODIRI

This paper looks into knowledge production and colonialism and places certain possibilities and cautions while dealing with this heavily debated area. The paper argues that moreover, it is essential to acknowledge that colonial education policies played a crucial role in shaping modern societies within the colonies. In addition to the changes brought about by technological and capitalist investments, colonial education policies also reconstructed the social dynamics of colonial societies.

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Change in traditional religion: the Rongmei tribe

by PANMEI PETER and TH. RABIKANTA SINGH

The complete conversion to Christianity among the Rongmei tribes in Manipur has few parallels in the history of religious conversions - a period in which entire tribes and communities abandoned their traditional beliefs and converted to Christianity within a span of a hundred years. Under these circumstances, only a few traditional primitive religions of these numerous tribes were able to withstand the mass exodus to Christianity. As a result, the twentieth century witnessed the demise of most traditional religions and their replacement by Christianity in the region. However, a few traditional religions have managed to survive and coexist with Christianity. This article attempts to give an insight into the efforts of the Rongmei in Manipur to preserve and propagate their indigenous religion, often drawing influences and inspirations from Christianity and other religions to preserve their traditional beliefs.

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Examining the concept of Cultural Ecology and exploring its relevance in conservation

by PIYUSH DAS, NAVIN PIPLANI and T. BRAR

Cultural heritage resources are complex entities that have evolved over time and through discussions and negotiations with numerous creative human minds. They do not exist in a vacuum, but are connected to various other types of tangible and intangible elements. Before any intervention, it is important to fully understand them. It is often found that there is a lack of thorough procedures to preserve our cultural heritage. The result is unsustainable solutions and, in rare cases, disasters that endanger heritage and other related resources. This paper will explore the concept of cultural ecology in order to understand and evaluate its use in the field of conservation.
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Body Surface Area Among The Irula Adult Women

by D. K. ADAK, N. BHARALI, C. MANDAL, T. K. BISWAS and A. MISHRA

Blood pressure (SBP: systolic blood pressure; DBP: diastolic blood pressure) is positively correlated with cardiac output and vascular resistance is related to height, weight, body surface area (BSA) and body mass index (BMI) in adult women. In the present study, an attempt was made to study the relationship between blood pressure and age, body mass index (BMI) and body surface area (BSA) among adult Irula women in Nilgiri district, Tamilnadu, India. This study was conducted among the Irula of Tamilnadu, an indigenous community belonging to the Scheduled Tribes (ST) and speaking Dravidian. The results of the present study show the association between age, height, weight and BMI with SBP, DBP and BSA in Irula women. The R2 values show a higher magnitude of relationship between age and SBP, age and DBP and BMI and SBP. In the case of BMI and DBP, BSA and SBP and BSA and DBP, however, a very low correlation is observed. This trend confirms the change in the socioeconomic environment and blood pressure in the population studied.
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Obesity and Behavioral conditions as a Risk factor of Hypertension among the Maram Tribes of Manipur

by URAPAM ZIMIK, HOSEA THANGLEN, HIJAM SOROJINI DEVI, M. SHYAMCHAND MEITEI, YUMNAM SANJU DEVI and KHANGEMBAM KHAGEMBA SINGH

Obesity is becoming a well-known health parameter associated with a variety of health problems, including high blood pressure, diabetes and other cardiovascular diseases. The aim of the study was to investigate the association between hypertension, behavioral factors and various measures of obesity in adult Marams from Manipur. A total of 180 Marams (males = 95, females = 85) aged 20-80 years from Senapati district were randomly interviewed. Smoking behavior, physical activity status and anxiety levels were recorded using a standardized schedule. Anthropometric data and blood pressure were measured using standardized procedures. Statistical methods, namely descriptive statistics, t-tests and chi-square tests, were applied. The results showed that the prevalence of hypertension was higher in male Maram (18.9%) than in females (16.5%). In both sexes, smoking, anxiety disorders and physical inactivity had significantly higher rates of hypertension than their respective counterparts (p<0.01). Among the various measures of obesity, BMI, WC, WHR and WHtR were significant for the risk of hypertension in both sexes (p<0.05). Maintaining obesity through behavioral changes could be helpful in reducing hypertension and extending lifespan..

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Exploring the Political Publics: An Ethnographic Study of Thuglak’s Annual Meetings

by  PRABHAKAR K. B.

This paper explores the intricate interplay between mass-mediated communication, the formation of publics, and the political landscape within the culturally diverse and politically vibrant state of Tamil Nadu, located in Southern India. The study focuses on the unique context provided by the annual readers’ meetings of the vernacular political satire journal, Thuglak. Employing a comprehensive political ethnography approach, the paper uncovers a complex web of interactions, ideologies, and identity formation that shape the publics of Thuglak. The paper further reveals that the political character of the journal’s readership is profoundly influenced by the journal’s core tenets, particularly Brahminism and Hindutva. Through a nuanced exploration of the Thuglak readers’ meetings, the paper contributes to a broader understanding of the role of mass-mediated communication in shaping public sentiment and, subsequently, the political landscape in Tamil Nadu. This study serves as a testament to the powerful influence of local media in shaping the political destiny of a region and underscores the critical importance of examining such connections in an increasingly interconnected and globalised world.

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Factors affecting Academic Stress and Anxiety among adolescent girls

by RAJUL RAIKWAR and K.K.N. SHARMA

Education is the process of learning that runs through a person’s entire life, from birth to death. It can also be said that education is a social process that encourages people to engage in developmental activities. Academic stress and anxiety can be caused by the learning process. The present study was conducted to find out the factors influencing academic stress and anxiety among 1200 school going girls (600 each for stress and anxiety) in Sagar, Madhya Pradesh, India. A pre-tested semi-structured questionnaire, focus group discussion and observation tool were used for collecting information and a standardized psychological instrument was used for assessing academic stress and anxiety. The present study shows that in addition to studies, family problems, domestic violence, emotional peer pressure and health problems have a significant impact on academic stress and anxiety. More attention should be paid to understanding the need for a studentand teacher friendly environment at school as well as a positive environment at home so that students’ academic stress and anxiety can be reduced.

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Assessing Tribal Education: A Case Study Of Ashram Schools In Chhindwara District Of Madhya Pradesh

by SOMESH KUMAR SINGH TOMAR and KHIROD CHANDRA MOHARANA

Education is a powerful tool to change ourselves and the world for the better. It is a medium for the transmission of culture through the process of enculturation as well as for the absorption of change and innovation from around the world. The paper focuses on understanding and evaluating the modern education imparted to the tribal population of Bharias and Gonds in Chhindwara district of Madhya Pradesh through a government funded Ashram school. The paper also focuses on the development of Scheduled Tribe children in such institutions.

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Unveiling the Educational Path: Exploring Retention Patterns in Primary Education among Schedule Tribe Children, Emphasizing Gender and Educational Zones

by ZAHOOR AHMAD BHAT and MOHD ASHRAF WAZA

The aim of the study was to determine the retention/retention rate of primary school pupils (I-V) who belong to the “scheduled tribes” (ST). It also aimed to compare these parameters by gender and educational sector. A descriptive survey method was adopted and Ganderbal district (J&K, India) forms the study area. The primary data on these parameters were collected from Chief and zonal education officers. The data was analysed with the help of percentage statistics and visualised with tables, pie charts and bar charts. The study revealed that the overall and GRR of tribal students at primary level was low at 80.49% and 75.87% respectively. In addition, the study revealed notable observations in terms of sex and zonal differences. The GRR of boys was low in contrast to that of girls (overall 75.52%, stem students 67.36%). It is noteworthy that Hariganwan zone had the lowest GRR for both tribal and all students as compared to Kangan, Ganderbal and Tullamulla zones.

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- On the Occurrences of Microliths near Begunkodor and Jhalida towns, Purulia, Eastern India: A Brief Report

by SOUMYADEEP MOYRA, KRISHNENDU POLLEY, KARTICK CHAKRABORTY, SHUBHRAKANTI BAUL and KAUSHIK BHATTACHARYA

The region at the foot of the Ajodhya hills in the Purulia district of West Bengal is considered to be one of the richest places in eastern India where evidence of microlithic cultures has been found. Some of the oldest dated microlithic sites in India are located in this part of Bengal. The present study presents the results of a recent archaeological survey of a 46 square kilometre area in the northwestern part of the Ajodhya foothills of Purulia, adjacent to the towns of Begunkodor and Jhalida. Three new microlithic sites were discovered during this exploration and are reported here along with the Quaternary stratigraphic contexts. In addition, preliminary observations of the microlithic artefacts recovered from these three new sites are discussed. The results of this study suggest that these newly discovered microlithic sites may provide new opportunities for more intensive studies in this region in the future.

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Assessment of health system responsiveness in Suryapet district health facilities: beneficiary perspectives

by JYOTHI KURAPATI and BAL NAGORAO RAKSHASE

Menstruation research is an important aspect of women’s health. The pursuit of inclusive health has increased the importance of women’s health in recent years. The purpose of this paper is to delve into the knowledge, attitudes, and the relationship between menstrual diseases and health-seeking behaviour. The current research was carried out on married Kuki women from two blocks in Manipur’s Kangpokpi District. 491 Kuki married women with at least one child are included in this study. In this work, a pre-planned schedule is used. Fieldwork took place between December 2018 and November 2019. The primary goal of this study is to look into the age of menarche, menstrual knowledge prior to menarche, and menstrual abnormalities in relation to health seeking behaviour. According to the findings, the average age of menarche is 14.74 years. Prior to attending menarche, 382 (77.8 %) of the women had no knowledge, while 109 (22.2 %) were well educated in menstrual information. Women with premenstrual syndrome (PMS) are more likely to experience dysmenorrhoea (p<0.001). To summarise, the importance of socio-demographic variables in menstruation research is emphasised in this study.

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‘Punerjeevanam’ and Livelihood Transition among Muthuvans in Marayur, Kerala

by VISHNU PRIYA R. Y.

The shifting cultivation-based food system is considered one of the eight potential enablers for the United Nations 2030 Agenda (Choudhury, 2021). The communities practicing shifting cultivation are largely indigenous peoples whose livelihoods are in transition. This study examines a public extension intervention initiated by the State Forest Department to promote traditional food practices among the Muthuvans, an Adivasi/indigenous population in Marayur, Idukki. The community is located in the Western Ghats of India, a biodiversity hotspot. The narrative of Punerjeevanam, the aforementioned project, is problematic when it comes to depicting the changing livelihood of the Muthuvan community. The data is collected through a patchwork ethnography (Guenel et al., 2020) due to limited access to the community and the COVID-19 situation. The study calls for the indigenous communities to be informed about their rights to the resources, which is a prerequisite for any development activities.

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Tribal rights in the forest from a subaltern perspective: an ethnographic study in West Bengal

by SUBHANDU PATRA and SUDIP BHUI

The indigenous peoples of India, commonly referred to as tribes or Adivasis, have always lived in hilly, forested areas in various parts of the country, most of which are inaccessible. These tribes have been exploited, subjugated and marginalized from their forest rights, which were once part of their customary practices. This paper critically examines how tribal forest rights have been systematically violated in the post-colonial period from a subaltern perspective. It also analyzes how contemporary laws to restore tribal customary rights over the forest have failed to empower the indigenous population. To uncover the reality of this issue, this study employs anthropological methods that are important to gain a deeper understanding of tribal cultural practices and beliefs and their relationship with the forest.

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Digital Dynamics: Exploring Social Media’s Influence on Political Participation of Mishing Women of Assam

by PRANJIT DOLEY and SUNIL KOIJAM

The political participation of women, in contrast to their male counterparts, is a basic prerequisite for gender equality and democracy. It facilitates women’s direct participation in the decision-making process and is a means of ensuring better accountability for women. Various factors, including the media, influence political participation by raising awareness and setting the agenda, thereby changing or strengthening social mores and mobilizing citizens to progressive action. The emergence of social media has made information dissemination more democratic, thereby raising people’s awareness of political participation. This paper examines the role of social media in women’s political participation in the Mishing community, a patrilineal society where women’s participation is lower. The study found that social media raises awareness and provides information for informed decision making, but does not necessarily increase political participation among women from the Mishing community.

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Determinants of Birth Weight: A Cross Sectional Study in District Panna of Madhya Pradesh, India

by SURYAKANT SONI and RAJESH KUMAR GAUTAM

Low birth weight (LBW) is an important determinant of mortality, morbidity and disability in the neonatal, infant and childhood period and has long-term implications for health in adulthood. The prevalence of LBW varies widely between countries, ranging from 7.2% in industrialised countries to 17.3% in Asia. In India, the prevalence of LBW has decreased from 20% to 16% in the last decade. A major reason for this improvement could be the improvement in maternal and child health care through specially designed programmes. This study was conducted in District Hospital, Panna, M.P., India, which has a well-equipped delivery room and operation theatre. The present study is based on the data collected from the birth register of District Hospital Panna, and shows that the prevalence of low birth weight (LBW) is 33.9%. Maternal age, duration of pregnancy, maternal health status, etc. were found to be associated with LBW.

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Review: Nation Building in Indian Anthropology: Beyond the Colonial Encounter

by RAVINDER SINGH

Review of Abhijit Guha's book "Nation Building in Indian Anthropology: Beyond the Colonial Encounter" . Manohar Publications, New Delhi (2022).

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Antrocom, Volume 19, Number 2, 2023

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