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Us, RelativesScaling and Plural Life in a Forager World$
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Nurit Bird-David

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780520293403

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520293403.001.0001

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The State’s Foragers

The State’s Foragers

The Scale of Multiculturalism

Chapter:
(p.202) 7. The State’s Foragers
Source:
Us, Relatives
Author(s):

Nurit Bird-David

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520293403.003.0013

In recent years, India has seen a viral increase in the number of state-recognized Kattunayaka, the official name of the foragers at the heart of this ethnography. Their ethnonym is included in the Constitution list of “Scheduled Tribes” guiding India’s distributive justice system. Ethnography of claims of Kattunayaka identity shows the political fallout from cross-scalar spillage in understanding plural life. This chapter calls attention to scalar blindness in broader discussions of indigeneity and multiculturalism, with emphasis on India. It elucidates the broader relevance of an anthropological distinction that emerges from the book’s overall ethnography: a contrast between a pluripresent and an imagined community.

Keywords:   Multiculturalism, indigeneity, pluripresent community, imagined community, India’s distributive justice system, Scheduled Tribe, cross-scalar slippage [scalar biases, hunter-gatherers, South Asian foragers, plural life]

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