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(503 words)

Author(s): Luchesi, Brigitte
Bangladesh, a republic in southern Asia, encompasses the territory of what was formerly Indian East Bengal and the Sylhet district of Assam. After the partition of British India in 1947, it formed the eastern part of the Islamic state of Pakistan before it achieved its independence in 1971. The vast majority of the people (97 percent) are Bengalis; the largest minority groups are Urdus (600,000), Chakmas (352,000), Hindis (346,000), Burmese (231,000), and Biharis (230,000). The Bengalis are nearly all Sunnite Muslims, but there is a Shiite minority in the cities. Hind…


(277 words)

Author(s): Luchesi, Brigitte
Bhutan (Tibet; Druk-Yul, “Dragon Kingdom”) is an independent kingdom in the eastern Himalayas. The primary ethnic groups are the Bhote (50 percent) and the Nepalese (35 percent), with smaller percentages of many others (including Assamese, Loba, and Lepcha). About two-thirds belong to the “red cap” sect of Lamaistic Buddhism (the Drukpa group of the Karyud school), which is the state religion. Most of the rest are Hindus, primarily Nepali settlers in the south and southwest of Bhutan. Immigratio…

Boas, Franz

(136 words)

Author(s): Luchesi, Brigitte
[German Version] (Jul 9, 1858, Minden, Westphalia– Dec 21, 1942, New York) was a German-American ethnologist, the founder of American “Cultural Anthropology.” After his education in Germany (physics and geography), he went to the USA in 1887, where he taught from 1899 to 1937 at Columbia University in New York, built one of the leading ethnological institutes, founded the International Journal of American Linguistics, published the journal American Anthropologists, and was one of the founding members of the American Anthropological As…


(3,088 words)

Author(s): Luchesi, Brigitte
A great many Hindus regularly worship so-called kul deities who may be either goddesses ( kuladevīs) or gods ( kuladevatās, kuldevas). In many parts of the Indian subcontinent, however, female kul deities are predominant.A kul deity is the goddess or god of the kinship unit, termed kula or kul, to which an individual Hindu belongs either by birth or by marriage. Depending on region, caste, and local usage, kul may refer to various levels of kinship organization. The term may be applied to unilinear descent groups whose founding ancestors are said to have lived h…
Date: 2020-05-18