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Folktales and Myths of Riang and Tripuri Communities - A Study of Their Cultural Profile (An Old and Rare Book)

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Item Code: NAS009
Author: Tushar K. Niyogi
Publisher: Anthropological Survey of India, Kolkata
Language: English
Edition: 1983
Pages: 218
Other Details 8.50 X 5.50 inch
Weight 500 gm
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Book Description
About the Book
The Riang and the Tripuri Communities constitute an important section of the tribal population in Tripura. These people follow a ritual tradition of animistic beliefs, and practise jhum cultivation on the hilly slopes, The jhum field is the centre of their manual and ritual activities, and the treasury of their verbal art their tales, myths, legends, etc., has been enriched by the illuminating experience of the jhum.

This book highlights the expressive behaviour, both at the level of verbal art and non- verbal rituals, of the two communities of Tripura. The ëtextí of the verbal lore is to be read along with the ëcontextí that primarily deals with manís subsistence system related to the ecological setting and spiritual system based upon the religious setting. The people, basically Jhumias, live a hard life at the sweat of their brow and enjoy the sweet juke of their sober wishes, that get reflected in their aesthetic heritage of culture.

This book will be useful to the academic community in general and the researchers in folklore, anthropology and literature in particular. People interested to understand the folk life of Tripura at an intimate level, with also find a food for thought in this endeavour.


The past few decades have seen an ever increasing interest in the field of folklore study in India. Scholars from various disciplines including freelance amateurs, have been busy in all parts of the country listening to the story-tellers and observing the ritual functions and other aspects of socio-cultural activities not only from the surface level but also pouring their minds deep into the inner characters of these mass-owned properties. Any critical researcher will observe that this newly emerging field of disciplineóëfolkloristicsíóhas already built up a nice warehouse of enormous mass of material which will serve the future workers in this field as a ready-reckoner for their investigation.

The Anthropological Survey of India, a Government of India research organisation of unique character and one of the biggest multi- disciplinary set ups of its kind has been, for a long time, initiating its research personnel with proper scope and facilities to work in this field with the obvious objective of incorporating the data and result of such investigation in the broader field of understanding human society as a whole. Thus a large amount of material of folk literature as well as folk culture was collected from different regions of India through the earnest endeavour of scholars like Dr. Verrier Elwin, Dr. Ashutosh Bhattacharyya, Shri Bhabananda Mukherjee, Dr. (Miss) K. Gnanambal and many others whose contributions to the development of folklore studies will always be acknowledged with esteem and admiration.

In the recent past, during the Fourth Five-Year Plan period this Survey took up a project of folklore field study in the two separate zones of Indiaóone in Bastar District of Madhya Pradesh and the other in North District of Tripura. I was vested with the duties of covering the North Tripura folk communities, viz., Riang, Noatia and Puratan Tripura. During my ten weeksí stay in the first quarter of 1973 among the said people of that locality, I had occasion to collect a sizable amount of folklore data with a special reference to folktales and myths.

Through the pages my aim has been to catch the tune of life of the non-literate folks who, living in the sequesteríd hilly mounds, far from the madding crowdís ignoble strife, enjoy a life of hard work in the jhum and beguile their leisures in the myth-making. Rituals also keep them active and alert all through their material and aesthetic activities. Ina sense, this aesthetic dimension of their expressive actionótheir folktales, myths, legends, fables, etc..ópresents the true profile of their culture.

As convention goes, every preface ends with thanks giving. Let me follow the tradition by expressing my gratitude to Dr. N. C. Chowdhury, the then Deputy Director of the Survey, who formulated the entire project of study and served as a never failing source of information and inspiration and who enlightened me in every respect with his teacherly advice and friendly criticism. Dr. S.C. Sinha, the ex-Director of this Survey, did his best to kindly go through my preliminary report and whenever I approached him, he enthused me with his thought provoking querries and ideas about my work. I have a special sense of indebtedness to Dr Ashutosh Bhattacharyya, the eminent folklorist of international repute who had initiated me in this discipline and who for his many kindness extended whole-hearted help to me in solving some of the problems raised in my mind while I was engaged in preparing the framework of the report. The nebulae of my concepts was illuminated and enriched by the discussions which I had time and again with my colleagues and friends in the Survey in general and with Dr. Sree Krishan, Shri Dipankar Dasgupta, Shri Sudhir C Panchbhai and Shri Bhabananda Mukherjee in particular. Last but not the least, thanks are also due to Dr A. K. Danda, Joint Director of this Survey, who took special interest in the publication of this report, and to Shri Manomohan Das, Shri Dilip Kumar Ghosh, Shri Swapan Ranjan Barua and Shri R. C, Bhattacharyya for providing with all possible help in publishing the book,

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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