By Julie E. Hughes
One summer season night in 1918, a leopard wandered into the gardens of an Indian palace. Roused via the alarms of servants, the prince’s eldest son and his entourage rode elephant-back to discover and shoot the intruder. an exhilarating yet insignificant vignette of lifestyles below the British Raj, we might imagine. but to the contributors, the search used to be weighted down with symbolism. rigorously choreographed in keeping with royal protocols, recorded via scribes and venerated by means of courtroom artists, it used to be a effective show of regal dominion over males and beasts alike. Animal Kingdoms uncovers the far-reaching cultural, political, and environmental significance of looking in colonial India.
Julie E. Hughes explores how Indian princes depended on their prowess as hunters to develop own prestige and solidify energy. Believing that males and animals constructed related features through inhabiting a shared setting, they sought out quarry―fierce tigers, agile boar―with qualities they was hoping to domesticate in themselves. principally debarred from army actions lower than the British, in addition they used the search to set up significant hyperlinks with the ancient battlefields and mythical deeds in their ancestors.
Hunting was once not just a method of showing masculinity and heroism, even though. Indian rulers strove to provide an image of privileged ease, perched in luxuriously built capturing bins and observed by way of lavish retinues. Their curiosity in being sumptuously sovereign used to be an important to raising the status of prized online game. Animal Kingdoms will tell historians of the subcontinent with new views and captivate readers with descriptions of its superb landscapes and wildlife.
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Additional resources for Animal Kingdoms: Hunting, the Environment, and Power in the Indian Princely States
Ganga Singh of Bikaner, on the other hand, preferred to issue written notices. He was a prolific composer of detailed letters, orders, and programs relating to his shooting entertainments and planned hunting ground improvements. 76 76â•›â•›A typical memorandum: “we must not have wasps at Gajner when the Viceroy goes there. They are always bad early in November. Please see to this and have all Chhattas etc. ” Ganga Singh, to K. Bhairun Singh, [Oct. or Nov. ], BMK, s. no. 138, file 926-I of 1906–10, RSA.
Mi. The Maharaja of Orchha likewise felt that his state, which covered only 2080 sq. , had no land to spare. ”5 Wealth ultimately came from the land, so territorial reduction held serious ramifications for the princes, but revenue was not the only consideration. Princes derived different benefits from varying categories of land. A mixture of cultivated and urbanized zones along with managed wilderness areas, like enclosed hunting grounds, provided spaces both controlled enough and sufficiently dangerous to highlight a chief ’s legitimacy and power from multiple perspectives.
Vegetation ranged from lofty mango, mahua, and pipal trees through scrub and undergrowth best suited to arid regions, like acacias and cactus-like thuhars. ”54 A wide selection of game flourished in Mewar’s variegated environÂ� ment. The 1908 Imperial Gazetteer of India reported that antelope and “ravine deer” [Gazella bennettii] abound in the open country and in the cold season the numerous tanks are usually thronged with wild-fowl. Leopards and wild hog are common in and near the hills. , 1990), 21–2.
Animal Kingdoms: Hunting, the Environment, and Power in the Indian Princely States by Julie E. Hughes