The interest to study the 'tribes' has greatly contributed to the origin and growth of the discipline of Anthropology. However, over the years, the discipline has got diversified encompassing themes and communities pertaining to both the tribe and non-tribe categories. Civilizational studies, village studies, ecological studies, study of urban and industrial societies, etc. are a few examples. Nevertheless, the significance of the study of tribes has not been reduced with the diversification of the discipline of Anthropology. Rather, growing inter-disciplinary interests in their study have been contributing, strengthening and evolving what we see as 'tribal studies' in recent years. Not only academics, but NGOs and GOs also do take interest in tribal studies mainly in development perspectives. Conversely, concepts and approaches evolved from the study of the tribes are being applied to the understanding of current issues like identity, development, etc. in multidisciplinary perspectives. The present volume with four thematic divisions, namely, Culture and Identity, Expanding Frontiers in Tribal Studies, Development Perspectives and Social Process and thirteen papers under these divisions broadly initiates a comprehensive exploration of the dynamics of tribal studies. Obviously, the strength of the volume emanates from the growing significance and emerging attention to the distinct analytical issues and empirical findings in the realm of tribal studies. No doubt, the volume will come handy among the NGO activists, planners, bureaucrats and social scientists in general and the students of tribal studies in particular not only in understanding the expanding frontiers of Knowledge in the realm, but also in contextualizing the dynamics of perspectives and methodological issues.
Tamo Mibang ( b. 1955) is now Pro-Vice Chancellor, Rajiv Gandhi University, ltanagar, Arunachal Pradesh. He was Head in the Department of Tribal Studies (Presently, Arunachal Institute of Tribal Studies), Rajiv Gandhi University and Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences of Rajiv Gandhi University from April 1997 to May 2000. He obtained his Masters degree in History from Gauhati University in 1977 and Ph.D from Dibrugarh University in 1988. He has authored Social Change in Arunachal Pradesh (The Minyongs) and Adi Doying and co-authored An Introduction to Adi Language and Indian Folk Tales in North-East India. Besides, he has co-edited seven volumes entitled Arunachal Women and Education, Ethno Medicines of the Tribes of Arunachal Pradesh, Tribal Villages in Arunachal Pradesh-Changing Human Interface, Folk Culture and Oral Literature from North-East India, Understanding Tribal Religion, Marriage and Culture (two volumes) and Marriage in Tribal Societies. He has, to his credit, numerous articles on the tribal life of Arunachal Pradesh. He is an Executive Member in many national, regional and state level bodies. Presently, he is also a member of ICHR, New Delhi. His area of interest is regional history and tribal development of North-East India. M.C. Behera ( b.1959), M.A.,Ph.D (Economics) from Utkal University, Bhubaneswar, Orissa, is a reputed scholar on Tribal Studies and Rural Economics. He has authored / edited / co-edited sixteen volumes on socio-cultural and economic studies especially on agriculture and religious life of tribal and rural people. To his credit, he has about sixty research papers on national and international topics published in various national and international journals / periodicals / encyclopaedias. He has presented about forty papers in national and international seminars / conferences in the country and abroad. He has completed four projects sponsored by ICSSR, New Delhi; UGC, New Delhi; KVIC, Arunachal Pradesh and UNESCO-IGNCA, New Delhi, He is a member of many professional bodies and the General Secretary of the Centre for Research and Analysis on North-Eastern Societies (CRANES), Itanagar. Presently, he is working as a Reader in Arunachal Institute of Tribal Studies, and holding the post of Director of the Centre for Distance Education, Rajiv Gandhi University, Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh.
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