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A Goddess in the Stones: Travels in India

Length: 320 pages5 hours


Not for Norman Lewis the tourist sights of Delhi and Rajasthan. His travels in India begin in the impoverished, overpopulated and corrupt state of Bihar, scene of a brutal caste war between the untouchables and higher-caste gangsters. From these violent happenings, he heads down the west coast of Bengal and into the highlands of Orissa to testify to the life of the caste-free indigenous ‘tribals’, who have survived here in isolation. His fascination with primitive cultures threatened by ‘progress’ sharpens his eye for the captivating details: Koya men's preference for older, dominant wives; Bonda women's traditional nakedness, except for elaborate jewelry; and the Kondhs' belief in encouraging promiscuity among their adolescents. There is much to be learned from these threatened cultures and Lewis is the perfect guide.

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