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A Goddess in the Stones: Travels in India

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Length: 320 pages5 hours

Summary

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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