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Disappearing people? Indigenous groups and ethnic minorities in south and central Asia

  • Campbell, B.

This collection surveys the context ofremote and relatively cut-off regions of Asia that are being drawn into global mainstream.&nbsp; In the &quot;nooks and crannies of a diverse and daunting environment&quot;&mdash;the mountains and jungles of Asia&mdash;are people who have been &quot;out of reach or beneath the notice&quot; of more powerful elites and cultural groups, yet reflect their histories of interaction in patterns of religion and language. Historically, religion and mercantile culture have panned across their homelands&nbsp; and nomadic pathways; now, the imperialism of global capitalism and militarism are encroaching even further.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <br /> <br /> Brower and Johnston present a strong introduction that emphasises how &quot;embedded cultural meanings&quot; &mdash;many that are vital to livelihood strategies of people living in difficult ecologies&mdash;of half the world&rsquo;s languages will not survive another generation. &quot;Cultural nations&quot; are fragmented by borders denying people access to &quot;customary lands, resources and kinfolk.&quot; The prospect of climate change can be contemplated to have &quot;some of its most powerful, potentially catastrophic effects here in South and Central Asia&quot;: the region&rsquo;s glaciers are the sources of rivers that bring water to a third of the world&rsquo;s population, and dam building and&nbsp; river diversions are emerging all over their courses. External interventions of the past have left troublesome legacies, such as hosting displaced communities, and conflicts in coming years are likely to threaten security, self-determination, and life itself.

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    Review of Disappearing People? Indigenous Groups and Ethnic Minorities in South and Central Asia. Barbara Brower, Barbara Rose Johnston . Oxford, United Kingdom. Berg/Left Coast Press. 2007. Mountain Research and Development, Vol 29, No 3, Aug 2009: 289&ndash;290: http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1659/mrd.mm054