The Himalayan Border Region

The Himalayan Border Region : Trade, Identity and Mobility in Kumaon, India

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Description

Drawing from
extensive archival work and long-term ethnographic research, this book focuses
on the so-called Bhotiyas, former trans-Himalayan traders and a Scheduled Tribe
of India who reside in several high valleys of the Kumaon Himalaya. The area is
located in the border triangle between India, the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR,
People's Republic of China), and Nepal, where contestations over political
boundaries have created multiple challenges as well as opportunities for local
mountain communities. Based
on an analytical framework that is grounded in and contributes to recent
advances in the field of border studies, the author explores how the
Bhotiyas have used their agency to develop
a flourishing trans-Himalayan trade under British colonial influence; to assert
an identity and win legal recognition as a tribal community in the political
setup of independent India; and to innovate their pastoral mobility in the
context of ongoing state and market reforms. By examining the
Bhotiyas' trade, identity and mobility this
book shows how and why the Himalayan border region has evolved as an agentive site
of political action for a variety of different actors.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 195 pages
  • 155 x 235 x 11.18mm | 3,226g
  • Cham, Switzerland
  • English
  • Softcover reprint of the original 1st ed. 2016
  • 9 Illustrations, black and white; XII, 195 p. 9 illus.
  • 3319806319
  • 9783319806310

Back cover copy

Drawing from extensive archival work and long-term ethnographic research, this book focuses on the so-called Bhotiyas, former trans-Himalayan traders and a Scheduled Tribe of India who reside in several high valleys of the Kumaon Himalaya. The area is located in the border triangle between India, the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR, People's Republic of China), and Nepal, where contestations over political boundaries have created multiple challenges as well as opportunities for local mountain communities. Based on an analytical framework that is grounded in and contributes to recent advances in the field of border studies, the author explores how the Bhotiyas have used their agency to develop a flourishing trans-Himalayan trade under British colonial influence; to assert an identity and win legal recognition as a tribal community in the political setup of independent India; and to innovate their pastoral mobility in the context of ongoing state and market reforms. By examining the Bhotiyas' trade, identity and mobility this book shows how and why the Himalayan border region has evolved as an agentive site of political action for a variety of different actors.
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Table of contents

Introduction.-Trans-Himalayan Trade in an Imperial Environment.-Ethnic Identities and Scalar Politics in a World of National States.-
Constellations of Mobility in a Market-Oriented Border Region.- Epilogue: Politics and Poetics of Central Himalayan Pastoralism.
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About Christoph Bergmann

Christoph
Bergmann is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of
Geography at the South Asia Institute, Heidelberg University (Germany). As an
interdisciplinary scholar with particular expertise in the domains of social
anthropology and geography, much of his work has sought to establish a locally
and historically contextualized understanding of stakeholder activities in High
Asia and, more recently, Sub-Saharan Africa. He adopts an actor-oriented approach
to scrutinize processes of border-making and to unravel geographically and
socially uneven patterns of development, with a particular focus on the
knowledge, aspirations and agendas of those considered as socio-economically or
socio-culturally marginal.
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