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Title: The Kui people : changes in belief and practice
Author: Boal, B. M.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1978
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The Konds of the Crises highlands have been known to the western world only since 1835. This study briefly gives their background then summarises the history of their conquest by the East India Company's troops, the latter's discovery and eventual abolition of their regular practices of human sacrifice and female infanticide, their administration of the Konds and the arrival of the Baptist Missionary Society in 1910. Two extensive chapters describe Kond religion. Comparison is made between groups of rituals recorded in the mid-eighteenth century, the early twentieth and the author's collection in the mid-twentieth century. (Accounts of rituals not in the text are classified under four heads and given in an extensive Appendix). Particularly are all available accounts of the human/now-buffalo sacrifice discussed. The Konds' unconscious concentration on maintaining their identity is seen to be linked closely with their manipulation of mystical power in ways interned constantly to restore or renew their own strength and well-being as a people superior to all 'outsiders'. The study focusses particularly upon the Goomsur hill-tracts, where the Konds not only accepted the enforced substitution of an animal victim, but concluded that the power of the human-blood-demanding Earth Goddess had been eclipsed by that of Bura, God of Light. Their adoption of this belief caused them to set a whole series of changes in motion. Against this traditional background, the first Christians were baptized in 1914, and the Church grew slowly - not among Konds but among Pans, trader-artisan groups who perform all the tasks from which pride of race excludes the Konds. A sudden decision to become Christian was made by large groups of Konds in and after 1956. Their movement into the Church is described, a Church led by their former servants, the new Pan professional class. Suggestions are made regarding the significance of the Konds' bronze lineage emblems, kept entirely secret until then, but now cast out. From the Konds' brief known history, their ritual practices and their ability to make corporate decisions, their possible pre-history is pieced together. Their strong determination to retain their identity as Bonds is seen as the reason-for, not against, their entry into the Church.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available