Brill’s Encyclopedia of the Religions of the Indigenous People of South Asia Online

Get access Subject: Asian Studies

Edited by:
Marine Carrin (Editor-in-Chief), University of Toulouse Jean Jaurès, and Michel Boivin, Centre for South Asian Studies (CNRS-EHESS), Gérard Toffin, Centre d’Études Himalayennes, Paul Hockings, University of Illinois at Chicago, Raphaël Rousseleau, Université de Lausanne, Tanka Subba, North-Eastern Hill University, Harald Lambs-Tyche, University of de Picardie-Jules Verne (Section Editors)

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Brill’s Encyclopedia of the Religions of the Indigenous People of South Asia strives to reflect the diversity of indigenous cultures of South Asia with its many language groups and religious traditions. Shaped by their own mythologies, these tribal religions differ in form and content from Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Islam, Sikhism, and Christianity, though variants of the latter traditions have been adopted by some indigenous people. Religion is taken in a broad sense and includes aspects of morality, symbolism, identity formation, environmental concerns, and art. Far from being simple survivals of an earlier stage, these religions often show remarkable capacity for adaptation and change. The approach is contemporary rather than a reconstruction of an anterior state, though it does not overlook relevant historical processes.

More information:

Ho: Changes in Society and Religion of the Ho of Singhbhum under British Colonial Rule, 1907-1932

(4,941 words)

Author(s): Das Gupta, Sanjukta
West Singhbhum district had for long been predominantly the homeland of the Ho and was often referred to as Ho disum or the country of the Ho. Ever since their intrusion into Singhbhum in the early 19th century, British administrators, missionaries, and anthropologists conducted ethnographic studies on the socioeconomic and cultural life and the religion of the Ho. Together with knowledge gathering, there were also attempts to relate this knowledge according to certain identifiable structures. From the writings of …
Date: 2019-11-02

Ho: Fact Sheet

(243 words)

Author(s): Carrin, Marine
The Ho, a tribe speaking a Munda (Austroasiatic) language, live in the north of Odisha (in Keonjhar district) and in Jharkhand, notably in Singhbhum district, where they constitute the most important population group in terms of numbers. According to the census of 2011 the Ho population in the state of Jharkhand is 806,921, where they constitute the fourth most-numerous Scheduled Tribe after Santals, Uraons and Mundas. The topography of Singhbhum district, which lies to the south of the Chhotana…
Date: 2019-11-02

Ho: Funerary Rites and Memory Stones

(5,965 words)

Author(s): Carrin, Marine
The Conception of the PersonThe representations of death revolve around a conception of the person that must be addressed before attempting to describe the sequence of the funeral ceremonies. The human body, hormo, is made up of two very different substances: the bony parts and the fleshy parts. In the Ho languages, Munda, and Santali, the term jan always refers to an internal and solid constituent, here the bone – in contrast to an external constituent, here jilu, the flesh. Among the Ho, as a patrilinear society, the bone still represents the principle of masculine lif…
Date: 2019-11-02