“Fish die of number, animals of footprints, but humans by mouths [words]!”
Diminishing cultural knowledge from the margin: The case of Thadou-Kuki
This paper discusses the cultural knowledge of Thadou-Kuki which constitutes one of the least explored genres of language use, with the hope that it will remain a source of information for future generation speakers and scholars. The paper provides examples of the vast pool of knowledge that lies underneath the traditional culture. It discusses two types of cultural knowledge in Thadou-Kuki, namely, material and oral culture transmitted from one generation of speakers to the other; these have not received the kind of attention that they deserve. The study shows how both material and oral culture are fast disappearing due to onslaughts from different quarters: the shift from traditional to a more sedentary lifestyle, the shift from traditional religion to Christianity, and finally the shift from traditional modes of entertainment to modern forms of entertainment. Many of the phenomena discussed in the paper apply to many of the other languages spoken in the hills of Northeast India, which are faced with similar threats.
- 2.Sources of information
- 3.Culture-related morphological features
- 4.Material culture of Thadou-Kuki
- 4.2Bamboo use
- 4.3The art of weaving
- 4.5The art of hunting practices
- 4.6Fauna and flora
- 5.Oral culture of the Thadou-Kuki
- 5.1Speech taboo
- 5.5.2Direct address to the spirits
- 5.6Christian prayer and traditional prayer
- 5.7Colloquial and archaic terminology
- 5.9Curses and abuse
- Author queries
This content is being prepared for publication; it may be subject to changes.
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