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Inventing Village Tradition: The late 19th Century Origins of the North Indian ‘Jajmani System’

  • Peter Mayer (a1)

Extract

Many years ago I was asked in a viva voce examination to name the first work which describes the Indian jajmani system. I knew that the jajmani system was of great antiquity, but I had no idea whether it was first described by one of the early European travellers like Bernier, an early 19th century British authority on Indian criminal castes and tribes like Sleeman, or a later authority on castes and folklore like Crooke. So I was rather surprised to learn, after my fumbling, that the first description was that of the Wisers, published in 1930.

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