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La dea nelle pietre. Viaggi in India

Lewis Norman

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Titolo originale

A Goddess in the Stones: Travels in India

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Alesandro Coggolo (France) -  commandez ce livre
A Goddess in the Stones: Travels in India

La dea nelle pietre. Viaggi in India La dea nelle pietre. Viaggi in India  

Norman Lewis Ŕ un profondo conoscitore dell'Asia Sud Orientale. In "La dea delle pietre" egli percorre i luoghi sconosciuti e remoti di un'antica civiltÓ indiana. Il suo viaggio inizia nello stato feudale del Bihar, attuale scenario di una brutale guerra fra gli intoccabili e le bande assoldate dalle caste pi¨ elevate. Lewis si allontana da questi violenti avvenimenti trovando rifugio nelle montagne dell'Est, per investigare sulle straordinarie usanze di alcune trib¨ appartenenti a quei tre milioni di indiani che ancora usano archi e frecce e che sono scampati all'estinzione grazie a un completo isolamento.


Recensione in altra lingua (English):

An intriguing if cursory chronicle of a visit among the caste- free tribes of central India--some of whom still hunt with bows and arrows and sacrifice animals to their earth goddess--by the well- traveled British author of numerous histories (The Missionaries, 1988, etc.) and novels (Within the Labyrinth, 1986, etc.). Lewis's fascination with primitive cultures threatened by ``progress'' began while he was reporting on native civilizations in Indochina and Burma. Here, his interest leads him to India's ancient tribal colonies, whose integrity has been preserved since before the Aryan invasion and whose population now equals seven percent of the nation's total. Returning to India with a certain wariness (his first visit, in 1950, left him with highly unpleasant memories), Lewis drifts through parts of the violence-torn country that few tourists ever see--from shabby Bihar in northwestern India, where recent caste wars have dominated the news, through poverty-ridden Calcutta, to the mountains of Orissa, home of the largest tribal population in the world. Led by a young, romantic Brahmin guide, Lewis infiltrates mountain communities whose ancestry may be traceable to the Aborigines of Australia or to prehistoric Asia. Dispensing candies to polite villagers, he contrasts the preening, self-assured behavior of the tribal females, who are sold to their husbands and are therefore a valuable family asset, to the general invisibility of modern India's downtrodden Hindi women, who continue to suffer as child brides, victims of dowry murders, and, in some areas, from ritual suicide. But Lewis's eye for captivating eccentricity--Koya men's preference for older, dominant wives; Bonda women's traditional nakedness, except for elaborate jewelry, and the men's casual willingness to murder whoever crosses them; and the Kondhs' belief in encouraging promiscuity among their adolescents--makes the brevity of his observations all the more frustrating. An absorbing introduction. One wishes for more.

The last volume of the trilogy on the Southern sub-continent, following "A Dragon Apparent" and "Golden Earth". It was Norman's belief that much of the old India described by early travellers remained to be re-discovered off the beaten track, and accordingly he undertook a journey of 2,500 miles in search of this. His travels begin, far from the tourist itinerary, in the feudal state of Bihar, currently the scene of a brutal case war in which untouchables attempting to defend their newly-won rights are massacred by higher caste gangs. From these violent happenings Lewis takes refuge in the mountains of the East, investigating the extraordinary customs of some of the 3 million bow-and-arrow tribal peoples who have survived in isolation here defending a seductive life-style. The India Norman Lewis describes is lonely, beautiful and unspoilt.