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:

Lanjia Saora: Fact Sheet

(368 words)

Author(s): Beggiora, Stefano
The Lanjia Saoras (or Hill Saoras) are a small ethnic group with a distinctive culture of great relevance, most of whom live in the central-eastern Indian states of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. Despite a certain tendency in India to consider them as part of the larger ethnic minority of Savara (spelled alternatively as Sabara/Sora/Sabar, etc.; Singh, 2001), who also live in areas of the neighboring states of West Bengal and Bihar, the link between these ethnic groups whose name has become synonymo…
Date: 2019-11-02

Lanjia Saora: Shamanism and Modernity: Dynamics of Resistance to Social Transformation

(6,468 words)

Author(s): Beggiora, Stefano
Although the origins of this ethnic group remain shrouded in mystery, the term śavara, with a number of variants, appears frequently in ancient Sanskrit literature dating back to the Aitareyabrāhmaṇa and even to Vedas; likewise, they have been traced back to the known ethnonyms mentioned by the first western geographers: the Sabarai in the Geographia of Ptolemy and, even earlier, the Suari that Pliny places south of Pataliputra in his Naturalis Historia (Thurston, 1909, 305). Indian epic works, too, are rich in references in this sense: in the Mahābhārata, they are one among the ma…
Date: 2019-11-02