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Review: Michael Vinding: The Thakali: A Himalayan ethnography

  • Dahal, D. R.

Book review: Vinding, Michael; 1998, The Thakali: A Himalayan Ethnography. Serinda Publications, London, UK. As the author himself notes, the Thakali are the most studied group in Nepal. They have been dealt with by both foreign and native scholars and even a number of Thakali have written accounts about themselves. The quest for the Thakali started as early as 1873. Since then, they have been been the object of scholarly workby Japanese, French, English, Danish, German, Swiss and American researchers. Many M.A.s and at least four Ph.D. degrees (including that of the author himself) have been based on Thakali materials. More than a 100 articles and four books have already been published on this group. That so many foreigners are moved to do research on Thakali subjects is itself an interesting question. My own view is that there is an overemphasis on this group and caste groups within Nepal have been unfortunately ignored and this has implications for our understanding of the totality of the human and cultural diversity of our country.

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    Contributions to Nepalese Studies, Centre for Nepal and Asian Studies (CNAS), Tribhuvan University (TU), Kathmandu, Nepal. Volume 27, Number 2, July 2000: http://himalaya.socanth.cam.ac.uk/collections/journals/contributions/pdf/CNAS_27_02_review1.pdf. Digital Himalaya: http://www.digitalhimalaya.com/collections/journals/contributions/index.php?selection=27_2