Religion and Society among the Coorgs of South India

Religion and Society among the Coorgs of South India

Product ID: 11349

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Author: M N Srinivas
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Year: 2003
Language: English
Pages: 279
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0 195658744


The book offers to students of Indian society and culture, a unique text for studying religious beliefs and cultural practice through systematic empirical enquiry. A daring and innovative venture, this book ranks among the best-written monographs in social anthropological literature for its clarity, consistency, and rigour.

The reissue of Professor Srinivas’s classic work comes precisely fifty years after its first publication and fulfills an enduring demand from students and teachers of sociology and social anthropology in India This edition includes an introduction by André Beteille that traces and contextualizes Srinivas’s findings, and arguments in the book, including the intellectual influences, which shaped his thinking both in its, and on Indian society as a whole.

The study is based on intensive fieldwork among the Coorgs, by Professor Srinivas during several visits in 1940 and 1941. The Coorgs, a handsome, brave, and proud people inhabiting the mountainous and forested district of Coorg in Karnataka, have long attracted the attention of scholars for their distinctive language, dress, and customs.

It also draws from the traditions of social structure in anthropological research established by Radcliffe-Brown. In addition, the study reveals the opportunities and challenges of conducting anthropological research in India.

It established professor Srinivas not only as a leading student of Indian society, but also as a leading social anthropologist at home and amongst the foremost practitioners of the discipline abroad.

This book is essential for students, teachers, and researchers in sociology, social anthropology, culture, and religion.


The Coorgs are sufficiently like Professors Srinivas for him to see the otherness in them. He is therefore in an unusually advantageous position to interpret for Europeans the religious thought of the Coorgs. He has carried out his task admirably.

-The Times Literary Supplement

The product is not only an admirable field document and an exemplification of functional analysis but also a book of fresh insight into Hindu life.

-Dr Mc Kim Mariot, American Anthropologist

Probably his chapter on Hinduism is one of the most valuable, for it epitomises the wider significance of the book.

-The Hibbert Journal


Introduction to the new Impression


Social Structure

The Ritual Idiom of Coorgs:
The Ritual complex of Mangala

The Ritual Idiom of Coorgs:
The Concepts of Pole and Madi

The Cult of the Okka

The Cults of the Larger Social Units


Religion and Society