New book: People of the Margins
North-East India’s cultural landscape might be considered as both more complex and more simple than it is commonly perceived to be. Whatever regularity one perceives always seems to come up against many exceptions. But it may well be that the superficial mosaic hides blurred boundaries, countless commonalities and mutual influences among its constituent parts. People of the Margins is an exploration of social connections and assemblages found on the physical, cultural and ethnic boundaries of the Assam-Meghalaya borderlands. The books strives to decipher the complexity of North-East India through a new approach which deliberately considers that collective identities and social structures operate according to distinct yet related logics. Ethnic and culturalist visions too often conceal the many people and patterns that circulate across such boundaries, linking up labelled groups into wide regional inter-ethnic and trans-ethnic webs. At a time when, in the North-East, collective identities are searching for new paths some way between assimilation and seclusion, the book describes striking examples of how human societies ceaselessly produce boundaries and ceaselessly weave connections to erect bridges across them.