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Title: Permutations of Rajput identity in the West Himalayas, c. 1790-1840
Author: Moran, Arik
ISNI:       0000 0001 1239 9539
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2010
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The sustained interaction of local elites and British administrators in the West Himalayas over the decades that surrounded the early colonial encounter (c. 1790-1840) saw the emergence of a distinctly new understanding of communal identity among the leaders of the region. This eventful period saw the mountain ('Pahari') kingdoms transform from fragmented, autonomous polities on the fringes of the Indian subcontinent to subjects of indigenous (Nepali, Sikh) and, ultimately, foreign (British) empires, and dramatically altered the ways Pahari leaders chose to remember and represent themselves. Using a wide array of sources from different locales in the hills (e.g., oral epics, archival records and local histories), this thesis traces the Pahari elite's transition from a nebulous group of lineage-based leaders to a cohesive unitary milieu modelled after contemporary interpretations of Hindu kingship. This nascent ideal of kingship is shown to have fed into concurrent understandings of Rajput society in the West Himalayas and ultimately to have sustained the alliance between indigenous rulers and British administrators.
Supervisor: Washbrook, David Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: British ; History ; Colonies ; Administration ; Kings and rulers ; Social life and customs ; Politics and government ; India ; 18th century ; 19th century ; Great Britain ; Himachal Pradesh (India)