The Story of the Dove: A Mirror Reflecting the Relation between Garo Material Culture and Worldview

Journal of the Anthropological Survey of India, 65(1) : (63-88), 2016

The Story of the Dove: A Mirror Reflecting the Relation between Garo Material Culture and Worldview

Pratibha Mandal
Worked at Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi, and Asiatic Society, Kolkata, West Bengal

Abstract
Material culture and worldview both have been studied well in extent, but usually not in conjunction with one another. Studies on the material culture do not encompass the worldview of the concerned society. On the other hand, worldview is usually discussed in connection with language and religion. In the present paper an attempt has been made to study the two together with the purpose of finding out the relationship between them from their reflections in oral narratives of a pre-literate ethnic group, viz., the Garos of north-east India. But since the worldview of such an ethnic group is structured on the experiences in all walks of life of that group, and since the material culture of such a group being entirely dependent on the resources available in its habitat largely shapes most of its fundamental socio-cultural aspects, a thorough study of the relationship between the material culture and worldview demands the taking of all those aspects into account. This in the area of oral narratives demands, in turn, a kind of content analysis of those narratives which has the capacity to cover all the broad socio-cultural aspects of human existence. To do this systematically a specific kind of content analysis, apt to be called the Hetta Dimensional Content Analysis (HDCA), has been employed to a Garo tale entitled ‘The Story of the Dove’.

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