In the 1970s, the first Orissa Research Project (ORP), financed by the German Research Council and conducted by the South Asia Institute of Heidelberg University, revealed vital elements of Oriya identity and culture by its extensive research on the cult of Jagannath and the temp e city of Puri. In 1999, the second ORP, `Various Identities: Socio-Cultural Profiles of Orissa in Historical and Regional Perspectives' was sanctioned until 2005.
Whereas the former project focused on the dominant discourses of coastal Orissa, the second project was the periphery oriented in a double sense. Geographically extended its studies to Orissa, and the hinterland of coastal sociologically it gave a stronger emphasis on its peripheral or subaltern folk and tribal groups. With its complementary studies, the second ORP attempts to give a comprehensive view of the polymorphic and polycentric pattern of the great regional tradition of Orissa. They reveal the inherent vitality and dynamics of India's regional traditions by paradigmatic studies on the genesis historical development, competition, and integration of various local and subregionals' traditions of Orissa.
Major themes of the present volume are narrative and ritual traditions of the former Feudatory States and their emergences Centers Out There as we as studies on various 'Facets of Subregional on dentures and the r That on the urban culture of coastal Orissa. They shed light on *issues which are general, not n the center of academic research, like the central agency of women in folk performances and the social formation of tribal societies.
Georg berkemer is Senior Lecturer of South Asian History and Languages at Humboldt University, Berlin. He was member of the second Orissa Research Project and is co-editor Sharing Sovereignty: The Little Kingdom in South Asia (2004).
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