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MAN-001: Social Anthropology

MAN-001: Social Anthropology

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2021-22

If you are looking for MAN-001 IGNOU Solved Assignment solution for the subject Social Anthropology, you have come to the right place. MAN-001 solution on this page applies to 2021-22 session students studying in MAAN courses of IGNOU.

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Assignment Code: MAN-001/AST/TMA/2021-22

Course Code: MAN-001

Assignment Name: Social Anthropology

Year: 2021-2022

Verification Status: Verified by Professor

Note: There are two sections ‘A’ and ‘B’. Attempt five questions and at least two questions from each section. All questions carry equal marks. The word limit for 20 marks is 500 words and for 10 marks is 250 words.

Section - A

Q1) Discuss the intellectual foundations for the emergence of a science of society. Discuss the history and growth of social anthropology as a subject. (20)

Ans) Ethnology, folklore studies, and Classics, to name a few 19th-century disciplines, have historical roots in social anthropology. Its immediate forerunner was Edward Burnett Tylor and James George Frazer's work in the late 1800s, and it underwent major method and theory changes between 1890 and 1920, with a renewed emphasis on original fieldwork, long-term holistic studies of social behaviour in natural settings, and the introduction of French and German social theory. One of the most important influences on British social anthropology was Bronislaw Malinowski, who emphasised long-term fieldwork in which anthropologists work in the vernacular and immerse themselves in local people's daily practises. The introduction of cultural relativism by Franz Boas, who argued that cultures are based on different ideas about the world and can thus only be properly understood in terms of their own standards and values, aided this development.

History and Growth of Social Anthropology

The British Museum, London

Zoos became unattended "laboratories" during the New Imperialism period, beginning in the 1870s, especially the so-called "ethnological exhibitions" or "Negro villages," with zoos becoming unattended "laboratories" during the New Imperialism period, starting in the 1870s. As a result, "savages" from the Americas, Africa, and Asia were displayed in cages, often naked, in so-called "human zoos." American anthropologist Madison Grant put Congolese pygmy Ota Benga in a cage in the Bronx Zoo in 1906, labelling him "the missing link" between an orangutan and the "white race" - Grant, a renowned eugenicist, was also the author of The Passing of the Great Race. Such exhibitions attempted to illustrate and prove the validity of scientific racism in the same movement, which was first articulated in Arthur de Gobineau's Essay on the Inequality of Human Races. In 1931, Kanaks from New Caledonia were still on display in the "indigenous village" at the Colonial Exhibition in Paris, which attracted 24 million visitors in six months, demonstrating the popularity of such "human zoos."

Anthropology became increasingly distinct from natural history by the end of the nineteenth century, and the discipline began to crystallise into its modern form by 1935, when T.K. Penniman was able to write A Hundred Years of Anthropology, a history of the discipline. The "comparative method" dominated the field at the time. It was assumed that all societies evolved in the same way, from the most primitive to the most advanced. Non-European societies were thus viewed as evolutionary "living fossils" that could be studied to learn more about Europe's past. Scholars wrote prehistoric migration histories that were sometimes useful but often fanciful. For example, it was during this time that Europeans first accurately traced Polynesian migrations across the Pacific Ocean, despite the fact that some of them thought it began in Egypt. Finally, the concept of race was brought up as a way to categorise - and rank - people based on their differences.

In 1989, the European Association of Social Anthropologists was founded as a scholarly society at a meeting of founder members from fourteen European countries, with funding from the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. By organising biennial conferences and editing its academic journal, Social Anthropology/Anthropologies Social, the Association aims to advance anthropology in Europe. Different universities' departments of social anthropology have tended to focus on different aspects of the field. Social Anthropology departments can be found in universities all over the world. The field of social anthropology has grown in unexpected ways, such as in the subfield of structure and dynamics, which was not anticipated by the field's founders.

Q2) Write a note on the classical theories. (20)

Ans) Theories of Evolutionism, Diffusionism and Historical Particularism are some of the classical theories that are being discussed herein.

Evolutionary Theories of Anthropology

The focus of early anthropology was on evolution, with a focus on the origin and diversification of human culture and society. These theories primarily focused on the evolution of family, marriage, kinship, and religion, which were seen as the fundamental institutions that all societies shared. Most eminent works by lawyers and sociologists during this period were comparative analogues based on data from the societies to which Europe was becoming exposed as a result of trade and colonisation.


The theory of diffusionism explained the development of culture in terms of "cultural similarities," "mutual contact," "cultural cradle," "culture area," and "kulturkreise" (culture circle). Diffusionists disproved the theory of Unilinear Evolution by studying the geographical distribution and migration of cultural traits, implying that cultures are a patchwork of traits intertwined with a variety of histories and origins. Diffusionists believe that different cultural complexes emerge at different times in different parts of the world and then diffuse to other parts of the world, primarily due to migration. They concluded that culture has grown over time not as a result of evolution, but rather as a result of cultural transmission through migration and mutual contact.

School Of Historical Particularism

Grand theories of socio-political evolution or diffusion, according to Franz Boas, the founder of the School of Historical Particularism, were not provable. He believed that theories that viewed all societies as part of a single human culture evolving toward a pinnacle of achievement were flawed, particularly those that promoted a western model of civilisation as the pinnacle of cultural achievement. Boas had reservations about accepting theories of multilinear society evolution. Many cultures, he claimed, developed independently, each based on its own set of circumstances, such as geography, climate, resources, and cultural borrowing. On the basis of this argument, he proposed reconstructing the history of individual cultures through in-depth research that compares cultural traits in specific geographic areas.

Following that, the distribution of culture traits in a given area was plotted, and further cultural borrowings were determined. This allows the investigator to reconstruct individual histories of specific cultures and draw conclusions about which cultural elements were borrowed and which were developed separately. Fraz Boas emphasised the reconstruction of each individual culture to understand the underlying intricacies and intrinsic value of each culture through historical particularism. Alfred L. Kroeber, Ruth Benedict, Robert Lowie, Paul Raden, and Edward Sapir were among the contemporary scholars and students who carried on and developed Boas' theory. Anthropologists working in the archaeological field also borrowed the theory because it included an in-depth examination of what had occurred in the past.

The Classical Theory is a traditional theory that focuses on the organisation rather than the individuals who work there. The organisation is viewed as a machine, with human beings as different components/parts of that machine, according to the classical theory. As a result, human beings are only seen as a means of production in this theory.

Q3) Discuss Functionalism with reference to Malinowski’s work. (20)

Ans) The following are examples of Malinowski's work's functionalism:

In contrast to Radcliffe-Brown, Malinowski claims to have founded a new ‘school,' the ‘Functional School.' According to him, the goal of functional analysis is to arrive at a “explanation of anthropological facts at all levels of development by function, by the part they play within the integral system of culture.” He believes that "every custom, material object, idea, and belief fulfils some vital function, has some task to accomplish, and represents an indispensable fact within a working whole" in every civilisation. Unlike Radcliffe-Brown, who starts with society and its necessary conditions of existence (i.e., integration), Malinowski begins with the individual, who has a set of 'basic' (or ‘biological') needs that must be met in order for it to survive. The term "psychological functionalism" is reserved for Malinowski because of the importance he places on the individual, as opposed to Radcliffe-approach, Brown's which is called "sociological functionalism" because society is the central concept.

Malinowski's method divides the world into three levels: biological, social structural, and symbolic. Each of these levels has a set of requirements that must be met in order for the individual to survive. The survival of larger entities (such as groups, communities, and societies) is contingent on his survival. According to Malinowski, these three levels form a hierarchy. The biological system is at the bottom, followed by the social-structural system, and finally the symbolic system. The manner in which needs are met at one level will have an impact on how they are met at subsequent levels. The biological needs are the most basic, but this does not imply reductionism because each level has its own properties and needs, and culture emerges as an integrated whole from the interrelationship of different levels. Malinowski's approach is based on culture. It is referred to as "uniquely human" because it is not found in sub-humans. Culture has been the instrument that satisfies human beings' biological needs since they separated from their simian ancestors. It consists of all the things – material and non-material – that human beings have created since they separated from their simian ancestors. It's a system that serves and fulfils needs. Malinowski's functionalism is also known as "bio-cultural functionalism" because of the role of culture in satisfying biological needs.

Another distinction between Radcliffe-Brown and Malinowski should be mentioned here. For Radcliffe-Brown, a concept central to Malinowski – culture – is merely an epiphenomenon (secondary and incidental). He believes that the study of social structure (which he considers to be an observable entity) encompasses the study of culture, and thus that a separate field to study culture is unnecessary. Furthermore, while social structure is all about observations, what anthropologists see and hear about individual peoples, culture is in people's heads and is not as easily observed as social structure. Radcliffe-Brown wants social anthropology to be recognised as a branch of natural science, which would be possible if the subject matter could be empirically investigated.

Q4) What is culture? Write a note on the anthropological approach to the study culture and personality with reference to Margaret Mead and Ruth Benedict’s work. (20)

Ans) Both popularly and psychologically, the terms culture and personality have been used in a variety of ways. Culture is a term that is commonly used in everyday conversation. Culture has a different meaning in anthropology than it does in popular culture. Anthropologists have never had it easier to define culture. It's no surprise that this concept has over 300 definitions in anthropology. For the sake of clarity, culture is defined as any knowledge that a person or individual has gained as a member of his or her society. Such knowledge is significant because it has an impact on the development of his or her personality. It was once widely believed that early enculturation has a significant impact on a child's personality development as he or she grows into adulthood. Culture's conceptualization is far from straightforward. “Culture is to society what memory is to individuals,” according to one perspective on culture. It includes what has worked in a society's experience and is worth passing on to future generations.

In the 1930s, the culture personality school of thought arose primarily in the United States.

In different societies, the above school explained relationships between childrearing customs and human behaviour. Culture personality theory incorporated elements of psychology, anthropology, and sociology, but the theory's main focus was on applying psychoanalytic principles to ethnographic data. The school placed a strong emphasis on the development of the individual while also focusing on the cultural moulding of the personality. Personality types were created in socialisation, according to culture-and-personality theorists, who put a special emphasis on child-rearing practises like feeding, weaning, and toilet training. Students of Franz Boas and Kroeber, including American anthropologists Ruth Benedict and Margaret Mead, were among the forerunners of this school of thought. Based on nine months of intensive fieldwork, she compares Samoan and American adolescent girls in her well-known book Coming of Age in Samoa. She theorised that the stresses associated with puberty in girls were culturally rather than biologically determined, as her research revealed that such stresses were primarily associated with American adolescents, whereas Samoan adolescents had a relatively smooth transition into sexual maturity.

She discovered while studying Samoa that the entire cultural mood in Samoa was much less emotional than in America. For example, Samoan children were not kept in the dark about their birth, death, or sexuality. Adolescents were not faced with the necessity of choosing between a variety of often conflicting standards of ethics and values because premarital sex was considered natural and did not require strong emotional involvements. In Samoa, adolescence was thus not marked by storm and stress, but rather as a natural part of life's progression. The study's main point was "the documentation, over and over, of the fact that human nature is not rigid and unyielding," as Mead put it. Margaret Mead claims in her study on Samoan that children are taught early in life that if they behave well or are quiet and obedient, they will be able to have their good way of life. The qualities of arrogance, flippancy, and courage are not emphasised in either the boy or the girl. Adults are expected to be industrious, skilled, loyal to their relatives, wise, peaceful, serene, gentle, generous, altruistic, and so on, while children are expected to get up early, be obedient and cheerful, play with children of their own sex, and so on.

She noticed that little girls move around together and have an antagonistic and avoidant relationship with boys during her fieldwork. Boys and girls, on the other hand, begin to interact as they grow older at parties and fishing trips. Any amorous activities between a boy and a girl, including slipping into the bush together, are considered natural if they are not committing incest, and adults pay little attention to such relationships. As a result, unlike in the United States, the transition from adolescence to adulthood is smooth and stress-free. As a result, she concluded that adolescence is stressful due to cultural conditioning rather than biological changes. Despite her critics, subsequent research has backed up her basic theory that childhood upbringing influences adult personality formation. Sex and Temperament in Three Primitive Societies is Mead's third important book. Mead's research focuses on the impact of culture on personality development.

Q5) Write short notes:

a) Sanskritisation (10)

Ans) Srinivas used the term Sanskritisation to describe the process of cultural mobility in traditional rural India in his study of the Coorgs. According to Srinivas, the Hindu caste system has never been so rigid that individuals or castes have been unable to change or elevate their status. Sanskritisation, according to Srinivas, is the "process by which a low caste or tribe or other groups takes over the customs, rituals, beliefs, ideology, and lifestyle of a higher caste, particularly the 'Twice born' (dwija) caste." For example, a low caste or tribe, or any other group, may give up non-vegetarianism, liquor consumption, animal sacrifice, and other practises, and adopt the Brahmin lifestyle in terms of food, dress, and rituals. They may claim a higher position in the local caste hierarchy by following such a process within a generation or two.

Srinivas originally used the term "Brahminization" to describe this process; however, when confronted with other models of emulation, he abandoned the term in favour of the term "Sanskritization." Furthermore, Sanskritization is a much broader concept than ‘Brahminization,' as it encompasses not only non-Brahmin models such as Kshatriya, Jat, Vaishya, and other ‘twice born' castes, but also a wide range of values and lifestyles. Sanskritisation as a process of social mobility has been observed empirically among non-Hindu communities, particularly those with well-defined social hierarchies such as Muslims and Sikhs, and to a lesser extent among other groups. Cultural emulation for the sake of social advancement has also been a driving force among non-Hindu communities.

b) Feminism

Ans) Feminism is a social and political movement that advocates for women's equal rights and opportunities around the world. Theorization of society's structure in terms of gender arose from this movement. It focuses on understanding how unequal gender statuses came to be and how gender is constructed in society, particularly in the presence of patriarchy, and is commonly referred to as feminist theory. Feminist theory is the name given to this movement when studied from a theoretical standpoint. This perspective is used in anthropology, among other subjects, to study and understand gender inequality and discrimination in society. In terms of gender, it incorporates issues of difference, representation, and critiques of power and knowledge into its arena.

We will look at the roles that women play in society and the experiences that they have. In anthropology, feminist theory focuses on understanding how people accept and become accustomed to oppression, as well as how oppressive structures are often resisted and attempts to change them. It entails the investigation of gender and power, as well as the integration of theories of structure, agency, and practise. Knowledge has been shown to be androcentric not only from a male centric point of view but also from a dominant position in society (caste, medicine, science, etc.) in the works of scholars such as Bernard Cohen, Donna Haraway, and Annette Wiener.


Q6) Describe family. Discuss the functions of family. (20)

Ans) The word family comes from the Latin word familia, which is derived from the word famulus, which means servant. Familia must have referred to all slaves and servants living under one roof, including the master's entire household and the wife, children, and servants under his control on the one hand, and the wife, children, and servants living under his control on the other. When we say "family," we mean all the various groups of relatives that make up a household (all the people who live in the same house), gens (all those who share a common ancestor), agnatic (relatives on the father's side), and cognatic (relatives on the mother's side, and then all blood relatives).

Functions of a Family

The family as a social group is universal in nature, with evidence of its existence at all cultural levels. As a result, a family with a social status has certain responsibilities and functions. The following are the basic functions of a family:

Satisfaction of biological need

The family, as an institution, ensures that biological needs are met on a regular basis. It contributes to the institutionalisation of mating as a primal human need. Family members aid in the channelling of sexual outlets by defining who one can mate with and who is out of bounds in terms of incest taboo. As a result, establishing a legal father for a woman's children and a legal mother for a man's children is aided by family.

Reproduction and Imbibing Social Values

As we have seen, a child is born into a family. As soon as a child is born into a family, he is entitled to a certain social position, religious beliefs, language, parents, and kin, all of which are determined by the family system into which he is born. Through the process of enculturation, this family nurtures the child and imbibes in him the ways of society, preparing him to accept adult statuses.


As a social group, a family is responsible for meeting the basic needs of its members, such as food, clothing, and shelter. In order to achieve this goal, all members of a family must work together, divide the work among themselves, and contribute to the family's upkeep. This fact was brought to light by Emile Durkheim in his book Division of Labor, which focused on the economic satisfaction of a family's need. It thus serves as the organisation of a complementary division of labour between spouses, while also allocating to each family member certain rights in the other's labour as well as in any goods or property acquired through their individual or joint efforts.


A family establishes a link between each spouse and their children within a larger network of relatives. It establishes descent and affinity relationships. The goal of sociological fatherhood is to assign responsibility for the child to a single adult. To ensure that statuses are transferred properly from one generation to the next, there must be legal fatherhood. Greater efficiency and skill in the work that needs to be done can be achieved through a cooperative division of labour. While both sexes are capable of performing many skills equally well, each sex is more likely to develop the skills it uses the most. From culture to culture, the basic functions of the family can be performed with varying degrees of effectiveness. Individual personalities of children and adults can be dramatically different depending on how the details of the functions are carried out.

Q7) With reference to Kula and Potlatch discuss the distribution process of goods and services in simple societies. (20)

Ans) Kula, according to Malinowski, is a New Guinean Trobriand Islander ceremonial exchange. Kula is also referred to as kula ring or kula exchange. It's a complicated system of visits and exchanges of two types of ornaments, as well as food and other commodities with people from other islands. Because the islands are endowed with different natural resources, each island can only produce a few specialised products or commodities and must rely on other islands for the rest of their needs. Because trading necessitates visiting distant and strange islands, which can be dangerous, the Trobriander devised kula as a means of establishing trade partnerships through the exchange of kula ornaments and gift-giving. The trade is subdued or embedded in a ceremonial exchange of valuable shell ornaments, which is the essence of such trade relations. There are two types of Kula ornaments.

Shell-disc necklaces are traded to the north (circling the ring in a clockwise direction) and shell armbands are traded to the south (circling the ring in a clockwise direction) (circling counter-clockwise). Mwali was given with the right hand, and Soulava with the left, first between villages and then between islands. The closing gift must be a necklace if the opening gift was an armband, and vice versa. These are exchanged in a ceremonial setting solely for the purpose of strengthening mutual trust, securing trade, and elevating one's social status and prestige. The Kula ornaments aren't particularly valuable in and of themselves. However, these ornaments are rich in folklore, myths, rituals, history, and other elements that elicit a lot of interest and bring trading partners together. The exchange of these ornaments makes it easier to trade goods on the island visited because the trading partner on the host island assists the visitor (s). People who take part in the Kula ring, on the other hand, never bargain over the items given and taken. Individual members trade goods in a friendly environment while circulating the Soulava and Mwali.


Potlatch is an elaborate feast held by Northwest Coast American Indian groups in which large quantities of food and valuable items (such as blankets, copper pieces, canoes, and other items) are pompously and competitively distributed to the guests in order to humiliate them and gain prestige for the host. It is also common to burn large quantities of goods. Individuals, such as village chiefs, or groups of individuals or villages, organise potlatches. A village chief invites a neighbouring village to the potlatch, which the latter must invariably accept. The guests, in turn, invite the hosts to the potlatch that they will be hosting. Though such gift distribution is competitive, it also serves as a levelling mechanism in the long run, distributing food and gifts equally among various villages across a large area.

Similar feasts are held in Melanesian societies (New Guinea), where a large number of pigs are slaughtered (in the hundreds). These feasts are attended by a number of villages. Such large-scale feasts appear to be a waste. These feats, however, serve the mechanism of ‘storing' surplus food produced during good seasons by feeding the pigs rather than storing it in bins. As a result, the pig population decreases dramatically, as does their threat to the fields. Such feasts are held reciprocally between villages, with the surplus food (pigs) being redistributed. These feasts are not always competitive, but in some cases, in order to maintain one's status, some Melanesian societies' "Big Men" organise massive feasts.

Q8) Critically evaluate the Alliance theory. (20)

Ans) The general theory of exchange is another name for the alliance theory in the study of kinship. It is also known as the structural way of studying kinship ties because it has its roots in the French structuralist Claude Lévi-Strauss. Les Structures elementaries de la Parenté, a monumental book by Lévi-Strauss, was the first to discuss the alliance theory. Elementary Structures of Kinship is the English translation. Alliance theory became popular in the 1960s and was debated and debated until the 1980s, when the issue of incest taboo was addressed by anthropologists, psychologists, political philosophers, and others. The goal of alliance theory is to figure out how inter-individual relationships are woven together to form society. The theory was created to investigate kinship systems that follow positive marriage (cross-cousin marriage) rules. However, in addition to marriage speculations, it also provides a general theoretical understanding of kinship. The study of marriage rules has been used to understand kinship terminologies since the beginning of kinship studies.

Scholars like W.H.R. Rivers tried to show a relationship between them by using marriage (symmetrical cross-cousin marriage) and terminology (bifurcate merging). The marriage rule is the cause, and the terminology is the effect, according to him. Anthropologists studied the perplexing Australian kinship system in depth to gain a better understanding of their descent system. They, too, relied on marriage alliances to accomplish this. Most scholars agree that double descent is always seen, whether directly or indirectly, in symmetrical cross-cousin marriage pacts. Exponents of descent theories, on the other hand, tried to convert types of marriage to forms of descent through various examples, such as B.Z. Seligman's attempts to convert types of marriage to forms of descent or Radcliffe-extra Brown's emphasis on descent, where he finds it concerning that the Australian kinship system has a core matrilineal exogamy along with what he refers to as the classic Australian patrilineal system.

Individual relationships and marriage rules are more important than descent groups, according to Radcliffe-Brown. Returning to the development of alliance theory, Lévi-Strauss' alliance theory was in direct opposition to Radcliffe-functionalist Brown's theory.

The most notable advancement in alliance theory was the refinement of the concept of alliance, which was given a more structural identity in order to make it more empirical. Initially, the theory was primarily concerned with the exchange of women between society's more exogamous elements. Where a marriage alliance does not result in a system of exchange at the group level as a whole, it remains an integral part of the system of categories and roles as understood by the people studied, according to Louis Dumont. If this is accomplished, we will be able to think beyond our own society's boundaries and make judgments and assessments based on the key perceptions involved, in this case consanguinity and affinity.


Despite being categorical, the alliance theory did not continue to work as a hypothesis that yielded tangible results. The theory was expected to yield a lot more. Marriage alliance's implications for status, economy, and political organisation were never fully explained. The etymological investigation was still structurally flawed. The study of terminologies did not aid in the understanding or improvement of this theory. Despite the fact that alliance theory had a much higher explanatory value than descent theory, investigations in today's anthropological setting have reduced their interest in kinship studies to better understand the diversity of kinship systems. As a result, the debates between descent and alliance theories have shrunk as the question of universal kinship structures remains unanswered.

Q9) Discuss the concept of rituals with reference to Victor Turner and van Gennep’s work. (20)

Ans) Due to the variety of forms and complexity of the phenomenon, ritual, like religion, is difficult to define. However, it can be interpreted as a set of formalised actions with symbolic value performed in a socially relevant context, or as worshipping a deity or cult. It's also a traditional custom involving stereotyped behaviour. Within each religion and across religions, rituals vary in form and content. They entail one or more individuals' participation, physical movements or actions, verbal and nonverbal or symbolic modes of communication based on shared knowledge. Ritual actions are frequently imbued with specific moods and emotional states, and participants may silently agree or disagree with the ritual process.

Every such ritual, according to Van Gennep, has three stages: a separation stage, a liminal stage, and a final stage of incorporation. As a result, in the first stage, an individual is removed from normal life, often giving up on normal daily activities, is surrounded by taboos, and frequently enters a sacred ritual status. For example, just before a wedding, a person may take time off work, a girl is not permitted to leave the house, and they are treated as special individuals. In India, girls and boys may be given oil baths, confined to the house, surrounded by relatives, and have activities, dress, and food restrictions imposed. This is the liminal period, during which a person is isolated from society. They may be physically hidden away at times, almost as if they are being kept away from normal day-to-day activities. As a result, they are in society but not a part of it; this is the situation in which one is suspended in social space and time. When the transition is complete, such as when one marries, one returns to normal life and exits the liminal period. This is an incorporation ritual, such as a new bride being asked to cook a dish at her in-laws' house, thereby integrating her into the daily routine of everyday life.

These three stages are present in almost all life cycle rituals, or rituals that mark life stage transitions. The concept of liminality was coined by Edmund Leach to describe the marking of structural time, or intervals where significant social events mark the passage of time from one period to the next. Because this type of liminality is compared to the swinging of a pendulum, there is a sense of reversal, where ordinary life is reversed or stopped, such as during harvest festivals and annual cycles like the arrival of spring. For example, during the Holi festival in India, all social norms are reversed, and people engage in revelry with no regard for normal social distances. The young take over, while the elderly look on indulgently. The strict observances of caste norms of purity and pollution are abandoned in the Gajan festival, as described by Okos Astor. Such rituals have also been described as having a cathartic effect, in which hostilities and inequalities are abandoned and everyday injustices are acted out in reverse. In one type of Holi celebration in India, for example, women use brooms to beat men who aren't supposed to protest. In a patriarchal society, women may be subjected to abuse by men. This is a reversal of the usual role play. As a result, the role reversal allows women to release their pent-up resentment at least once a year.

Q10) Write short notes:

a) Shifting cultivation (10)

Ans) Many tribal communities around the world practise shifting cultivation, which is an age-old socio-economic practise. It's a specific type of agricultural practise that's mostly done on hilltops. Several tribal communities in India have used this method of cultivation as their primary source of subsistence since the dawn of civilisation. Shifting cultivation dates back to the Neolithic period, roughly 8, 000 to 10,000 years ago. When the Neolithic people moved from a nomadic to a settled lifestyle, this process resulted in a new socio-economic situation. These groups attempted to transition from food gatherers to food producers. Some tribal groups regard shifting cultivation as a natural way of eking out a living. In fact, it is regarded as a traditional farming technique used by various tribal communities across the Indian Subcontinent. In other parts of the world, shifting cultivation is common, particularly in Sumatra, North Burma, Borneo, New Guinea, and many parts of Africa.

Slash-and-burn or swidden cultivation are other terms for shifting cultivation. In tribal areas of India, shifting cultivation is known by various names. It is known as jhum in Northeast India, podu, dabi, koman or bringa in Orissa, deppa in Bastar, kumari in the Western Ghats, penda in Southeast Rajasthan by the Matra and Maria tribal groups, and bewar or dahia in Madhya Pradesh. Shifting cultivation is a type of impermanent cultivation that takes place on steep, rugged, and elevated hill slopes. Seeds are sown using a simple digging stick after cutting and burning the vegetation, which is known as the slash and burn method. They plant crops for a few years before abandoning the field because the soil has lost its fertility due to vegetation burning. The people then relocate to a new location to begin a new cycle. They return to the same patch of land for shifting cultivation after a few years, which they had left fallow to allow natural vegetation to grow and the soil to regain its fertility. The length of the fallow period is determined by the availability of land with forest vegetation and the size of the shifting cultivation group. The fallow period for tribal groups practising shifting cultivation has decreased from a few decades to a few years on average.

b) Terrace cultivation (10)

Ans) Terrace cultivation is a method of growing crops on the sides of mountains or hills by planting on graduated terraces built into the slope. Despite its labour-intensive nature, the method has proven to be effective in increasing arable land area and reducing soil erosion and water loss in a variety of terrains. The terrace is typically a low, flat ridge of earth built across the slope with a channel for runoff water just above the ridge in most systems. Terraces are usually built on a slight incline so that water collected in the channel flows slowly toward the terrace outlet. Level terraces can be used in areas where the soils are able to absorb water quickly and rainfall is low. Terrace farming has been practised for centuries in China, Japan, the Philippines, and other parts of Oceania and Southeast Asia; the Mediterranean; parts of Africa; and the Andes of South America. Also see paddy.

New Techniques

New techniques may bring particular crops to prominence, as the sugar beet's development demonstrates. This discussion, on the other hand, is limited to three that, while old in some ways, are currently transforming agriculture in many parts of the world.


Terracing, or the process of grading steep land, such as hillsides, into a series of level benches, has been practised in various parts of the world for thousands of years, including the Philippines, Peru, and Central Africa. Terracing is now widely used in Japan, Mexico, and parts of the United States, while many other countries, such as Israel, Australia, South Africa, Colombia, and Brazil, are increasing productivity by implementing this and other soil-conserving techniques.

Some of the issues are illustrated in India, where irrigation has been practised since ancient times. More than 20% of the country's cultivated land was irrigated in the late twentieth century. Large dams with canals to distribute the water have been used, as well as small tube, or driven, wells, which are made by driving a pipe into water or water-bearing sand and are controlled by individual farmers. However, because water containing dissolved salts was allowed to evaporate in the field, some were affected by salinity.

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