Old & Rare books given a new life!

Malana: The Political System of a Himalayan Community

“a lost classic of the ethnographic village studies genre” — Dr Richard Axelby

Explore the captivating world of Malana through the lens of Colin Rosser’s seminal work, ‘Malana: the Political System of a Himalayan Community.’ Originally presented as a PhD dissertation in 1956 at the SOAS, University of London, this book unveils the intricate social and political fabric of Malana, a ‘hermit’ village in the Himalayas.

Rosser’s thorough exploration, based on twenty-one months of fieldwork between 1951 and 1952, challenges stereotypes associated with the then isolated community of Malana. His initial impressions, published in 1952, hinted at Malana’s uniqueness, but it is his comprehensive PhD thesis, unpublished until now, that provides a rich tapestry of empirical details. This long-awaited publication, now made accessible with help from Colin Rosser’s sons, Jon and the late Vivian Rosser, is “a lost classic of the ethnographic village studies genre”.

The book offers readers a profound appreciation of Malana, dispelling romanticized images and negative stereotypes while unveiling the village’s contradictions and complexities. It stands as a timeless contribution to anthropology, providing a baseline against which development can be measured and offering a nuanced understanding of a community managing change within the broader context of the world.

Price: ₹499

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Price: ₹299

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Kanawar: Outline of an Ethnocultural Study

“Kanawar: Outline of an Ethnocultural Study” is a translation of the academic dissertation by Rolf Heinrich Deuster (1903–1941) on Kanawar (Kinnaur). It was originally published in German as Kanawar: Grundriß einer Volks- und Kulturkunde by Jordan & Gramberg, Leipzig, in the year 1939. Between 1932 and 1936, Deuster visited and stayed in the region on numerous occasions, which he used as the basis for his work. He also produced a short documentary film titled Im Punjab-Himalaya – Volk und Feste in Mandi, Kulu und Bashahr in 1935/36, which was distributed by now defunct Gottingen based Institut für den wissenschaftlichen Film (IWF).

An earlier translation of the dissertation was published by the Academy of Art, Culture & Languages, Himachal Pradesh, in 1996.

The Sun And The Serpent: A Contribution to the History of Serpent-worship (1905)

This is a reformatted edition of the 1905 book and has been developed from different copies of the earlier work. The original text and all the illustrations have been retained.

“This work, which is based upon papers read before the Royal Asiatic Society in 1901, was, at first, intended to refer only to Indian Serpent-worship. It was soon found, however, that the Serpent-worship of India did not originate in that country, but was, in fact, a branch of the worship of the Sun and the Serpent, which was once well-nigh universal. It became evident, therefore, that a history of the Indian cult would go far to explain the nature and origin of serpent-worship, in other countries and in other times.

It will be seen that some of the views, expressed in this volume, differ from those which have been held by some Oriental scholars of great eminence. These views, however, have not been put forward without due consideration. They are the result of much reflection, observation, and inquiry, combined with a careful study of local tradition and folklore.”

An excerpt from the Preface of Book.

Price: ₹299

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Price: ₹399

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Kulu and Lahoul (1914)

Charles Granville Bruce, a pioneer of Himalayan mountaineering, describes a climbing excursion he and his team took to Kulu and Lahoul in the summer of 1912. The book gives some insight into the native life and includes a chapter on local history and folklore by one of the team members, in addition to being a chronicle of the three months’ climbing expeditions.

The original 1914 edition has been reformatted. We’ve added some extra information in the form of the author’s excursion diary, which is narrated in the book. All of the images and maps are included, and the information, with the exception of a few small changes, is exactly as it was in the original.

Lights & Shades of Hill Life in the Afghan and Hindu Highlands of the Punjab (1895)

An interesting late-nineteenth-century travelogue detailing the author’s excursions to the valleys of Kulu in the Indian Himalayas and Kuram in the NWFP (now Pakistan); illustrated with magnificent images of scenery and people from both places by the author.

This is a reformatted edition of the 1895 book that is created using several copies of the original. We’ve kept the text as it was and just made small changes to the spellings of some native terminology and the grammar where it couldn’t be avoided. We’ve also included all of the pictures and maps from the previous edition.

Price: ₹549

E-Book available.

Customers outside India can order here.

Price: ₹299

Customers outside India can order here.

The Kulu Dialect of Hindi (1896)

A revised edition of A. H. Diack’s 1896 monograph The Kulu Dialect of Hindi, the first published work on Kului, the language spoken in Kullu, Himachal Pradesh, India.

Kullui, which Diack (n.b.) wrongly referred to as a dialect of Hindi, is a separate language that belongs to the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European language family’s Western group of Pahari languages.

There are over a hundred couplets in the book, as well as a glossary of over a thousand words. From 1887 through 1890, and again in 1891, Diack served as Assistant Commissioner and Settlement Officer for Kulu.

The Himalayan Districts of Kooloo, Lahoul and Spiti (1871)

reformatted edition of Alfred Harcourt’s 1871 extensive report The Himalayan Districts of Kooloo, Lahoul and Spiti. A kind of mini encyclopaedia on these regions.

Price: ₹390

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Price: ₹299

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How I Shot My Bears (1893)

An account of the two years’ sporting adventures of a late-Victorian hunter, Mrs. R. H. Tyacke (born Isabella Edwards), in the Indian Himalayas. In the book she recounts her game hunting quests in the beautiful valleys of KulluandLahoul and gives an exquisite description of the region in the late nineteenth century.

This is a reformatted edition of the 1893 book.

Kulu: Its Beauties, Antiquities and Silvermines (1873)

reformatted and revised edition of the 1873 book Kulu: Its Beauties, Antiquities and Silver Mines… by John Calvert.

This edition contains some corrections to the original text, includes additional notes, a table of contents and a bibliography.

Price: ₹240

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Price: ₹340

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Journal of a Tour Through Spiti to the Frontier of Chinese Thibet (1864)

A reformatted and revised edition of the 1864 original Journal of a Tour Through Spiti to the Frontier of Chinese Thibet by Philip Henry Egerton.

In this edition we have brought some extra material and made minor corrections to the text. We have also arranged a table of contents for the journal and added a bibliography.

About the Book

In the summer of 1863, Philip Egerton, the Deputy-Commissioner of Kangra, made a tour through Kulu and Spiti to the border of Tibet. His aim was to arrange a meeting with some Tibetan official there and discuss about starting a trade fair to encourage the commercial traffic, particularly of shawl-wool, from Tibet into the Punjab via Spiti.

At the time, Kashmir and Ladakh had a complete monopoly on the shawl-wool trade with Tibet. The British in their constant efforts to break this control now turned to Spiti, their territory bordering Tibet, seeing it as an alternative route through which they could possibly divert the trade.

On the tour, Egerton had the company of Rev. August Wilhelm Heyde, of the Moravian Mission at Kyelang, acting as an interpreter and guide. Egerton also employed Thakur Hari Chand of Lahoul and sent him as an ambassador to the Garpon (governor) of Gartok with a letter inviting him to meet Egerton at the frontier and discuss the project.

In the event, Egerton’s attempts were met with a failure, for his letter was not accepted and was sent back unopened. He decided to make his way to Gartok himself, but, was stopped at Kaurik, the Tibetan frontier settlement. There he was requested by the local village headmen not to advance further; else they would incur severe punishment, as they had strict orders not to allow any European across the border. Egerton then dropped his plan and turned back, being on tour for the last two months.

The journal Egerton maintained during his tour was published in 1864 and contains valuable ethnological and geological information of Spiti; including a brief history of the country and a report on the trade between India and Tibet. It is also the earliest photographic documentation of Kulu, Lahoul and Spiti, and contains 37 photographs of landscape and people of the region, including that of Kangra, all taken by Egerton himself.

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