29 OCTOBER 1937, Page 38


Dr. Majumdar's monograph on the Hos of the Chota Nagpur plateau (I.ongmans, los. 6d.) fills a wide gap in the study of the Austric-speaking popula- tion of India. In his theoretical approach he attempts to combine the " functional " method developed by the anthropological School of Malinowski in this country with the analysis of cultural pattern - due to in the United States. These are remarkably strange bedfellows, but Dr. Majumdar is determined to effect arecon- ciliation between them and in doing so he has produced a stimulating bobk on a little-known people. His work lies - essentially in the field of culture-change, . and in twenty-two chapters he gives a well-rounded picture of Ho history, economic' life, religion, law and social organtsation, and considers the extent to -which: thEse -have been affected by contact with neighbouring tribal groups. Not the ledieinteresting is his account of the Hos' relatively successful adjustment to the effects of partial industrialisation, in which respect they appear to be decidedly more fortunate than their primitive fellows in other parts of the world.