Significance of Expressive Culture in Understanding Tribes in India: A Promising Frontier in Anthropological Research

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J. Devarapalli

Abstract

This paper contends that the performative aspects of human culture give valuable insights into tribal communities in India. Specifically, expressive culture forms such as art, dance and speech practices can provide a way for tribes to preserve their identities amid rapidly changing landscapes. Moreover, these cultural expressions are of umpteen values where dominant cultures intersect with tribal cultures in the era of globalization. Thus, examining expressive cultural forms offers opportunities to comprehend adjustments within a tribe, analyze the institutional structures behind their manner of expression and consider how social negotiation is achieved through cultural expression. In this article, the necessity and reason for a paradigm shift in the cultural investigation of a community or a group by anthropology and allied disciplines is advocated. The new paradigm of expressive culture, its nature, different forms and crucial functions as symbolic embodiment of the community has been highlighted along with few examples from the tribes of India. Finally, the theoretical underpinnings and research methods that could be used in the examination of the expressive culture of different communities are explained.

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How to Cite
Devarapalli, J. (2023). Significance of Expressive Culture in Understanding Tribes in India: A Promising Frontier in Anthropological Research. Human Evolution , 38(3-4), 197-209. https://doi.org/10.14673/HE2023341121
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