xii, 280p., Figs., Tables, App., Bib., Index, 23 cm.
This is a study of the Mishing, the second largest tribe of Assam inhabiting the Brahmaputra Valley. Besides giving a comprehensive ethnographic account of the people, this book raises important theoretical issues pertaining to the analysis of kinship and descent in anthropological studies. It specifically focuses on the genitor/pater debate in determining kinship status with special emphasis on the structure of descent groups. Ancestor worship and its associated rituals is a key variable that has been used to clarify some of the theoretical ambiguities in the above mentioned debate. This study fills in a long felt gap in anthropological literature in India as little work is available on the detailed analysis of kinship in any tribal community specifically with a view to tackle the important theoretical debates going on in this field. With the help of a painstaking and indept empirical study, the author has analysed important problems in the field of kinship, descent and affinity. Taken from the point of view of its rich ethnographic material, penetrating analysis and the theoretical insights it offers, this work may be considered as a landmark in kinship studies of tribal societies in India.