About the author: Peter M. Gardner spent his early life in England, Canada, and a Maori community in New Zealand. Following graduate studies in anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania, he taught at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Texas. Currently, he is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Missouri.
2000 0-7734-7819-1 Dr. Peter Gardner’s ethnographic study of Paliyans is one of the most complete and up-to-date accounts of a South Asian hunting and gathering people. It covers the spectrum of Paliyan culture, from subsistence to medicine and word play, and it details the beliefs and practices which allow Paliyans to achieve their extreme egalitarianism and non-violence. Brief case studies throughout the account not only bring the people to life, they give the reader a sense of the rich, complex texture of Paliyan existence. The study uses recent perspectives and modes of analysis, situating the foragers in their time and place and employing tools such as fuzzy-set analysis. An appendix includes a topical Paliyan lexicon.