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  • Asked on December 18, 2017 in Anthropology.

    At present people of India may be divided into four speech families viz., the Indo­European (Aryan), the Dravidian, the Austric (Kolor Munda) and the Tibeto-Chinese (Sino­Tibetan). D.N. Majumdar (1955) opines that “so far as the tribal people are concerned the Aryan speech comes into the picture only as a consequence of cultural contract since almost all of our tribal people have pre-Aryan or non­Aryan racial affinities and origins”.

    Most of the scholars, therefore, are of the view that the tribal people of India may be classified chiefly into three speech families:
    (1) Dravidian, (2) Austria, and (3) Tibeto-Chinese.

    The tribal people speaking the languages falling under Dravidian speech family inhabit the middle and southern India. The most developed languages of the Dravidian family are Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam. Gonds occupy the chief place among the tribal speeches derived from Dravidian family and it is spoken widely by the Gond tribals who are scattered from Madhya Pradesh to Andhra Pradesh. It has no literature but considering the numerical strength of its speakers, it has been assigned a very important place in the realm of tribal languages. Another important language of this group is Koi which is spoken by the Kandh of Orissa, Oraon of Chhotanagpur and Malto of Rajmahal hills. The speeches of Toda, Paliya, Chenchu, Irula and Kadar are also included in the Dravidian family.

    The Austric family of speeches is also known as Munda speech family. Max Muller was the first scholar who distinguished it from Dravidian speech family and it is he who assigned the term Munda speech family to this group. Speeches of this family are spoken mainly by the tribals of Chhotanagpur area but these are also in vogue, to a lesser extent, in some parts of Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, West Bengal, Madras and Terai region of Himalayas stretching from Bihar to Shimla hills. The Santhali speech of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa, Mundari, Ho, Kharia, Bhumij and some other speeches of Bihar are also included in this family.


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  • Asked on December 18, 2017 in Anthropology.

    The concept of dominant caste has been used for the first time in the sociological literature by an eminent sociologist. Prof. M.N. Srinivas in his essay “The Social System of a Mysore Village”, which was written after his study of village Rampura.

    “A caste to be dominant, it should own a sizable amount of the arable land locally available, have a strength of numbers and occupy a high place in the local hierarchy. When a caste has all the attributes of dominance, it may be said to enjoy a decisive dominance.” —M.N. Srinivas

    (a) Adrian C. Mayer (1958) has questioned the stress on numerical dominance. He has also pointed out to the failure of the concept to deal with the fact that power and prestige are often in the hands of few individuals. He has also pointed out to the need to recognise that dominance is not simply a one-way affair since dominance is an object of emulation for the caste beneath it in the hierarchy.

    (b) Louis Dumont has claimed that dominance should be considered as a purely secular phenomenon distinct from hierarchy which is purely ritual.

    (c) Gardener reviewed that “dominance” should not be conceptualized in the form of caste only.

    As there are four basic levels of dominant castes:

    1. The ruler

    2. The regionally dominant caste

    3. The locally dominant caste

    4. The village level landed pattern of dominant caste.

    (d) David Pocock observes that Sanskritizatlon is outside the pale of pan-Indian culture and it is a manifestation of the highly localised process of cultural change. At the microstructural level of villages and other territorial groups, there were functional equivalents of the kingly role represented by what Srinivas called “dominant-castes”.

    (e) With the land reforms, a big landowning class has ceased to be an important element of dominance. Andre Beteille observes that in place of big landowning class, the strength of numerical support has become a decisive factor in the formation of a dominant caste.

    (f) Dominant caste is not always numerically a preponderant caste. D.N. Majumdar observes that the scheduled castes preponderate in many villages. But the people belonging to the upper caste exercise power and authority in such villages.


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  • Asked on December 18, 2017 in Anthropology.

    The jajmani system is considered as the backbone of the rural economy and social order.It is a system of traditional occupational obligations. In rural India, Jajmani system is very much linked with the caste system.

    It could be said that the Jajmani system is a system of distribution whereby high caste land owning families are provided services and products of various lower castes such as Khati (Carpenter), Nai (Barber), Kumhars (Potters), Lobars (Blacksmiths), Dhobi (Washer man), Sweeper (Chuhra) etc. The servicing castes are called Kamins while the castes served are called Jajmans.

    Close and Intimate Relationship:
    There is a close and intimate relationship between the jajman and kamin. This relationship is not purely economical but it is sentimental and internal. A spirit of fellow feeling and brotherhood develops under this system. Both jajman and kamin know full well each other’s limitations as well as plus points.

    So, they try to adjust each other. Jajmani system is hereditary and permanent, that is why both jajman and kamin sympathies for each other. This system creates an atmosphere conducive to peaceful living and co-operation.

    Source of Exploitation:
    Jajmani system is exploitative. The agricultural castes, which are invariably upper castes, seek the services of the occupational castes, which Eire generally lower castes. The exploitation of lower castes continues under the garb of paternal ties.

    Like the caste system, this system has become a source of suppression, exploitation and discrimination. Oscar Lewis has pointed out in his study of Jajmani system in Rampur village, whereas in the past it was based on personal relationship, it has now become an instrument of exploitation of kamins by jajmans.

    There are a number of factors responsible for the disintegration of jajmani system in India. These factors are:
    Due to the Impact of modernisation, the jajmani system is getting disintegrated. The influence of life style, modern education, western culture has become the barrier In jajmani system. Decline in Jajmani system can be attributed to changes in hereditary occupation. The rapid expansions of means of transport and communication have enable the people to receive improved services somewhere else.

    Due to the impact of industrialisation and urbanisation, the economic condition of the people has been changed. So it comes in the way of jajmani system. Barter system of exchange is now almost extinct. Now payment in form of cash is made.

    Broad changes in caste system also come in the way of jajmani system. Jajmani system which was once useful In Indian rural society has gradually seen reduced to exploitation of the lower castes. Jajmani system is interconnected with the caste system.

    The caste system in India is on its way of disintegration. So the jajmani relations with other castes are In the process of being broken off. Another factor is that now-a-days the caste panchayats are dying out. They have lost their power and effectiveness. Various reform movements have also contributed to the decline of the jajmani system.


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  • Asked on December 18, 2017 in Anthropology.

    The current view of the Ramapithecus depends upon little more than two dozen fragments, mainly of teeth and parts of jaws that have been discovered since the first find reported on by G. Edward Lewis in 1934. The initial discovery prompted Lewis to
    recognize a new form that he called Ramapithecus. This was followed in later years by a handful of fossils that were each recognized as new forms and they were given a series of separate names (Kenyapithecus, Graecopithecus, Rudapithecus, Sivapithecus) based upon the geographical localities at which they were found. But in 1965 Simons and Pilbeam reviewed the entire series and held the view that all these forms really comprised two species groups. One of these, Sivapithecus, was basically ape-like and it was therefore put forward as an ape ancestor; the other, Rudapithecus, seemed to possess a number of hominid-like features were therefore entered as an early hominid ancestor. This view was still extant in 1977 but a series of more recent studies have
    cast doubt upon it. Thus Andrews and Cronin (1982) and Lipson and Pilbeam (1982) have all suggested that the non-Chinese ramapithecus are really only a single species or species group, that the two forms (Sivapithecus and Ramapithecus) are really only the males and females of the sexually dimorphic species group.

    One of the reasons for putting forward this new idea is an attempt to make these data conform to those suggested by the concept of the molecular clock. The molecular clock, assessing the time from a common ancestry of two species using the notion that molecular evolution has taken place in a linear manner, suggests that human and African apes had a common ancestor at five million years ago or even close to the present time. If these were true, it would be logically impossible for there to have existed prior ancestors of humans (ramapithecines date from 8 to 14 million years ago) that were more like humans than apes. The new views of the fossils have therefore concentrated on the ape-like features of Ramapithecines and of these, big sexual dimorphism is one of the most powerful, being found in every great ape known, but not markedly present in any species of the genus Homo so far identified. But the later evidence regarding Ramapithecus strongly suggests that two species are present therein Yunnan. One of these, the larger creature, (Sivapithecus), with larger dental sexual dimorphism, larger canine dimorphism, larger canine heights and areas, more herbivorous dentition, considerably smaller number of males than females has attributes that are matched by many of the apes. In contrast, the smaller creature, (Ramapithecus) possess smaller dental sexual dimorphism, smaller canine dimorphism, smaller canine heights and areas, more omnivorous dentition and equal numbers of males and females, and thus has attributed that would not deny it a place in a radiation of prehuman form.

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  • Asked on December 17, 2017 in Anthropology.

    Influencing factors:

    1.Deleterious mutation load is the main contributing factor to genetic load overall. Most mutations are deleterious[citation needed], and occur at a high rate. The Haldane-Muller theorem of mutation-selection balance says that the load depends only on the deleterious mutation rate and not on the selection coefficient.

    2.New beneficial mutations create fitter genotypes than those previously present in the population. When load is calculated as the difference between the fittest genotype present and the average, this creates a substitutional load.

    3.Inbreeding increases homozygosity. In the short run, an increase in inbreeding increases the probability with which offspring get two copies of recessive deleterious alleles, lowering fitnesses via inbreeding depression. In a species that habitually inbreeds, e.g. through self-fertilization, recessive deleterious alleles are purged.

    4.Recombination/segregation load
    Combinations of alleles that have evolved to work well together may not work when recombined with a different suite of coevolved alleles, leading to outbreeding depression. Segregation load is the presence of under dominant heterozygotes (i.e. heterozygotes that are less fit than either homozygote). Recombination load arises through unfavourable combinations across multiple loci that appear when favourable linkage disequilibria are broken down.Recombination load can also arise by combining deleterious alleles subject to synergistic epistasis, i.e. whose damage in combination is greater than that predicted from considering them in isolation.

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  • Asked on December 17, 2017 in Anthropology.

    Genetic load is the difference between the fitness of an average genotype in a population and the fitness of some reference genotype, which may be either the best present in a population, or may be the theoretically optimal genotype. The average individual taken from a population with a low genetic load will generally, when grown in the same conditions, have more surviving offspring.

    Ignoring frequency-dependent selection, it is calculated as follows:

    L = (Wopt – v) / Wopt

    Where L is the genetic load, Wopt is the fittest genotype, and v is mean fitness (the fitness of each genotype multiplied by its frequency). In a population where Wopt = v, the genetic load, L = 0. Types of genetic load include mutational load and selectional load.

    A mutational load is a genetic load created by mutations that introduce either inferior or superior alleles to the population. Mutations affect the mean fitness of a population.

    A segregational load is a type of genetic load caused when a population is segregating less-fit homozygotes due to the reproductive fitness of heterozygotes. The large segregational load of heterozygote advantage is the reason why the balanced school’s view on maintaining genetic polymorphisms was considered flawed by other geneticists.

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  • Asked on December 16, 2017 in Anthropology.

    Symbolic and Interpretive Anthropology is the study of symbols in their social and cultural context, which was brought about in the 1960s and progressed through the 1970s. These symbols are generally publically shared and recognized by many and could be words, customs, or rituals.

    Clifford Geertz is the most famous Symbolic and Interpretative anthropologist of the 21st century. He came up with a new way of viewing and interpreting culture.Clifford Geertz’s main contribution in simplest form is the idea that symbols are a direct reflection of a culture. Symbols are the product and formations of social everyday interactions. Geertz looks at culture not as a social structure but as social meaning. Geertz’s main goal was to understand others understandings. Geertz did not see anthropology as a science but an interactive way to find meanings. The Interpretation of Cultures was published by Clifford Geertz in 1973. His goal of theory is to understand other’s understanding and interpretation or use of their cultural symbols and the symbol’s public and private meanings and connotations in that society.

    Turner’s well-known contribution to Symbolic and Interpretive Anthropology was his study of ritual and ritual symbolism. He brought about the term multivocality to indicate that one symbol can stand for multiple things. His greatest contribution to anthropology though is said to his work on liminality and communitas. Turner will be most remembered for his work in bringing symbols, and the interpretation of symbols to the forefront of anthropological thought. Turner published “The Forrest of symbols” in 1967. It is a collection of 10 essays about symbolism in the rituals of the Ndembu people in Northern Rhodesia (Zambia).


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