Life and Culture in Northeast India

Abbeville. Nov. 2020. 260p. ISBN 9780789213747. $55. TRAV
Juxtaposed between the Himalaya Mountains and the Indian Ocean, Northeast India’s current cultural and political boundaries include eight states: Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, and Tripura. Its 46 million residents occupy a land area of more than 100,000 square miles, larger than the state of Wyoming. Often referred to as the assam, it is fitting that the word derives from the Sanskrit for “peerless and unparalleled.” The authors (Ocean to Sky) estimate that 475 ethnic groups live in Northeast India and 400 languages are spoken regionally. This beautifully illustrated work showcases the peoples, flora, fauna, traditions, belief systems (including Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, and biodivinity), material culture, and agriculture of the region. Centuries of warfare have shaped this place where the fierce military sport now known as polo was developed. The full-color photographs and maps depict tribal differences, ethnicities, vibrant traditions, unique wildlife, and natural beauty of this lush and highly diverse landscape. The detailed captions, bibliography, and index are outstanding and the text provides historical context about treaties, boundaries, and colonial influences.
VERDICT Highly recommended for adventurers and armchair travelers who appreciate geographically isolated locales.
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