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Excerpt from Ethnography: Castes and Tribes 1. The subject with which it is proposed to deal in the present work is that branch of Indian ethnography which is concerned with the social organisation of the population, or the dispersal of the latter into definite groups based upon considerations of race, tribe, blood or occupation. In the main, it takes the form of a descriptive survey of the return of castes and tribes obtained through the Census of 1901. The scope of the review, however, is limited to the population of India properly so called, and does not, therefore, include Burma or the outlying tracts of Baluchistan, Aden and the Andamans, by the omission of which the population dealt with is reduced from 294 to 283 millions. 2. It should be borne in mind from the outset, that but for the fact that this vast aggregate is spread over a continuous area between Cape Comorin and the Himalaya, and is politically under one rule, the population does not contain, as a whole, any of the essential elements of Nationality. Irrespective of racial differences, which, for reasons which will appear below, are to a great extent outside the Census inquiry, the Language, falling under no less than 147 heads, varies from Province to Province, each of the principal tongues having its dialects whose Shibboleth infallibly denotes the stranger a hundred miles or so from his native village. Society, again, is split up into almost innumerable self-contained divisions, under sacerdotal prohibition from intermarriage and domestic intercourse with each other. Religion, moreover, constitutes a well-defined distinction only in the case of creeds introduced from abroad, and the Faith returned under a single title, itself of foreign origin, by nearly three fourths of the population covers a vast and incoherent collection of beliefs and forms of worship, from the tribal animism of the primitive denizens of the forest to those involving the most refined metaphysical conceptions. Neither religion nor language, then will be here discussed more than cursorily, and solely in their bearings upon the ethnography of the country. Full information upon the philology and the main currents of religious belief of India will be found in special treatises upon those subjects in other volumes of this Encyclopaedia. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works."
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