Anthropology in Nepal


Anthropology in Nepal

Nepal is very rich in cultural, linguistic and biological diversties despite its smallness in size. Nepal is supposed to be a paradize for research scholars! In Nepal, anthropology is new discipline, begun in 1970s by the effort of Ernest Gellner.

Members: 27
Latest Activity: Nov 11, 2012

Discussion Forum

Groups in Nepal who might use kidnapping to gain power

I am a friend of the Sacco family. Their daughter, Aubrey, disappeared on the Langtang Trek on April 21st. We are trying to do research on gangs, cults, religious groups, etc. that may have resorted…Continue

Tags: groups, Religious, Gangs, Cults

Started by Kathy Sage Jul 15, 2010.

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Anthropology in Nepal to add comments!

Comment by Piers Locke on February 22, 2011 at 6:16am

Hi David- I think a history of anthropology in Nepal would be a very interesting project. Pratyoush Onta's 2004 book 'Nepal Studies in The UK: Conversations with Practitioners' is very interesting, and Alan Macfarlane has recently written about Furer Haimendorf's pioneering work in ethnographic film (in the journal Visual Anthropology, 2010).


I'm just back from a 5 week field trip back in Nepal, which was most productive.

Comment by david seddon on February 22, 2011 at 6:08am

Just to go back to the discussion of 'the origins of anthropology in nepal' - Prof John Hall has just published a biography of Ernest Gellner in which he discussed his links with Nepal briefly. I do know something about these early days, and would not wish to have overlooked the work of Sandy Macdonald as another expatriate here in 'the early days'. I knew both Christoph von Furer Haimendorf and Ernest Gellner well, and also Lionel and Pat Caplan, and could go on for a long time about their encounters with nepal..perhaps one day we could write a history of "early Anthropology in Nepal'.



david seddon 

Comment by Piers Locke on January 7, 2010 at 2:56pm
actually first published December 2008. Related title of interest:

Lecomte-Tilouine & P. Dollfus (eds) 2003. Ethnic Revival and Religious Turmoil: Identities and Representations in The Himalayas. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Comment by Ranjan Lekhy on January 7, 2010 at 1:16pm
Hindu Kingship, Ethnic Revival, and Maoist Rebellion in Nepal
-Marie Lecomte-Tilouine

This volume discusses issues of tribal identity and the Maoist rebellion in the face of Hindu kingship and caste organization. The 1990s witnessed the rise of two successive but interrelated movements that transformed society-ethnic revivalism and the Maoist rebellion. The author, who lived for some months in central Nepal before the emergence of these movements, studied a multi-caste and a multi-ethnic village community. The site of the author's fieldwork is a place where Hindus have been in very close touch with the tribal population. As far back as the fifteenth century, Hindu rulers had forged ties with the tribal chiefs. Of the indigenous people-who form a third of the country's population-the Magars are the largest group and developed the closest relationship with Hindu rulers. The essays explore the strategies of the Magars in building relations with high-caste Hindus and how these strategies were determined unilaterally by the Hindu rulers. Over a period of time, this created ground for tribals to join hands with Maoists to construct a model of society in opposition to caste organization and Hindu monarchy.

1. Judicious and balanced mixture of archival research and fieldwork
2. Studies the Nepalese monarchy and its relationship with the nation
3. Examines the relationship between ethnic communities and the Maoist insurgency

Product Details
Publisher: New Delhi: Oxford University Press
312 pages;
ISBN13: 978-0-19-569792-6ISBN10: 0-19-569792-8
Released Date: January, 2009

About the Author
Marie Lecomte-Tilouine is Senior Researcher, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Villejuif, France.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Stereotypes, Alterocenrtrism, and Alterization in Nepal
1. Spirits, Shamans and Englishmen: Perception of the Others in Vir Caritra, a 19th Century Nepalese Novel
2. Hindu Power in a Tribal Territory: The Cult of the Earth-Goddess Bhume among the Magars
3. The Enigmatic Pig: On Magar Participation in the State Rituals of Nepal
4. Desanskritization of the Magars: Ethno-History of a Group with no History
5. The Messianic and Rebel King Lakhan Thapa: Utopia and Ideology among the Magars
6. The Transgressive Nature of Hindu Kingship in Nepal
7. Regicide and Maoist Revolutionary Warfare: Modern Incarnations of a Warrior Kingdom
8. 'Kill one, he becomes one hundred': Martyrdom as Generative Sacrifice in the Nepal People's War.
Comment by Ranjan Lekhy on December 28, 2009 at 4:04am
A short bibliography

1. Moran, Peter. 2004. Buddhism Observed: Travelers, Exiles and Tibetan Dharma in Kathmandu. Routledge Curzon
2. Grieve, Gregory P. 2006. Retheorizing Religion in Nepal. Palgrave Macmillan
3. Rothchild, Jennifer. 2006. Gender Trouble Makers: Education and Empowerment in Nepal. Routledge
4. Ramble, Charles. 2008. The Navel of the Demoness. Oxford University Press
Comment by Ranjan Lekhy on December 21, 2009 at 6:12pm
I do not know about Rajendra Pradhan, I think he did PhD from DU on Anthropology of Religion in Nepal. As I remember, Prof. Dilli Ram Dahal from CNAS also has worked in the USA.
Comment by Ranjan Lekhy on December 21, 2009 at 6:09pm
I cannot speculate about the disappearance of Prof. Bista! I have also rumors about his renouncement! But as I have experienced renounce is not so easy task. One cannot escape from his task so easily. One has to complete his ongoing task, and then he may go for Sanyas. Even though, we cannot just what happened to Prof. Bista!

Great, I've also downloaded Fisher's Fluid Boundaries when you recommended me first time in another thread. But I have not gone through yet. I have already studied Holmberg's Order in Paradox in my MA at TU. I think it is good piece of work. Yes, I have also went through Guneratene's Many Tongues and one People. It is also a great work, but I would like to comment later when I will be free because it is related to my own people.

You have asked some where about the favorite ethnographies from SA. There are many but I think Dangerous Wives and Sacred Wives by Lynn Bennett and The Poison in Gift by Gloria Raheja can be one's favorite ethnographies.
Comment by Piers Locke on December 21, 2009 at 5:04pm
Oh, and do you think Rajendra Pradhan is still the only Nepali anthropologist to conduct ethnographic fieldwork outside of Nepal or South Asia (in The Netherlands)?
Comment by Piers Locke on December 21, 2009 at 5:02pm
By the way- what are your thoughts (if any) as to the disappearance of Dor Bahadur Bista in 1996? I have always been rather attracted to and intrigued by the suggestion that he might have taken sanyas.

Regarding Nepal ethnographies, I have recently read Wiliam Fisher's excellent 'Fluid Boundaries: Forming and Transforming Identity in Nepal' (2002) and am currently reading David Holmberg's 'Order in Paradox: Myth, Ritual and Exchange Among Nepal's Tamang' (1989).
Comment by Ranjan Lekhy on December 21, 2009 at 3:59pm
Hi Piers, thanks for your comment. Yes, indeed, Prof. Christoph was the first trained anthropologist who carried out ethnographic works in Nepal on Sherpas. I think he was a Prof. at the Osmania University, Hyderabad. Prof. Dor Bahadur Bista was one of his product. But to establish anthropology as an academic discipline in TU, the initiation was started only in late 70s and early 80s. And at that time Prof. Ernest Gellner was the prominent figure. You can find the material regarding this matter in the first occasional papers of the Central Department of Sociology/Anthropology (TU). I am not sure the issue is available on the We need to check it out.
Yes, I know David Gellner personally.

Members (26)



OAC Press



© 2020   Created by Keith Hart.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service