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Journal Article

Respect and Nonviolence among Recently Sedentary Paliyan Foragers

Peter M. Gardner
The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute
Vol. 6, No. 2 (Jun., 2000), pp. 215-236
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2660893
Page Count: 22
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Respect and Nonviolence among Recently Sedentary Paliyan Foragers
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Abstract

Contrary to expectations (e.g. Bender 1978; Draper 1975; Kent 1989; 1990; Rafferty 1985), Paliyan foragers in south India remain relatively nonviolent when becoming sedentary. First, I review fifteen factors which are thought by others to pertain to disputes among foragers. Second, Paliyan beliefs and practices are examined regarding respect for the individual, avoidance of disrespect, and ways of handling of disrespect when it occurs. Third, I compare conflicts and means for managing them in a forest-oriented band and a Paliyan village settled for about 150 years. Settled Paliyans have a slightly lower per capita frequency of episodes of conflict; while their conflicts are more severe, they are rarely serious. Finally, Paliyan data are reviewed with reference to the fifteen causal factors, six of which help explain continued nonviolence. Successful Paliyan peace-keeping may be due in part to both the multiplicity of their safeguards and the prevention of positive feedback. In the long run, however, altered treatment of children foreshadows change.

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