Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Tribal Economies in Assam: A Study of Northeastern India

Ansari, Mahmood (2006): Tribal Economies in Assam: A Study of Northeastern India. Published in: Journal of Assam University , Vol. vol.1, No. no.1 : pp. 92-104.

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The tribes and tribal economies have variously been represented in the northeastern region as remote, paddy producing, and land scarce settlements where the populations use the community land and collective labour in order to practice the shifting cultivation. These economies do occasionally utilize the trans-Himalayan trade and commercial network to siphon off and mobilize the agricultural surplus. The reciprocity and redistribution institutions otherwise do function to fulfill the needs of the tribal settlement and population. The state is treated among the tribes as exploitative agency and virtually an outsider entity. These tribal economic arrangements are however, recently posited to be transforming into the peasant economies to budding agrarian capitalist frameworks. The emergence of tribal elites, de-peasantized population, sedentary agriculture and wage labor market are identified as indictors of changes and transition. The predicament is however the cavalier approaches towards the theoretical and conceptual schema in analyzing the transitions and transformations on the part of the regional social science scholars and academics. There is an added problem of the shortage of empirical data to support the thesis of mode of production transition in the region.

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