Animal Kingdoms: Hunting, the Environment, and Power in the by Julie E. Hughes

By Julie E. Hughes

One summer time night in 1918, a leopard wandered into the gardens of an Indian palace. Roused by way of the alarms of servants, the prince’s eldest son and his entourage rode elephant-back to discover and shoot the intruder. a thrilling yet insignificant vignette of existence less than the British Raj, we might imagine. but to the individuals, the search was once encumbered with symbolism. conscientiously choreographed in accordance with royal protocols, recorded by means of scribes and venerated via court docket artists, it was once a powerful reveal of regal dominion over males and beasts alike. Animal Kingdoms uncovers the far-reaching cultural, political, and environmental value of looking in colonial India.

Julie E. Hughes explores how Indian princes depended on their prowess as hunters to improve own prestige and solidify strength. Believing that males and animals built comparable features via inhabiting a shared surroundings, they sought out quarry―fierce tigers, agile boar―with features they was hoping to domesticate in themselves. mostly debarred from army actions below the British, in addition they used the quest to set up significant hyperlinks with the old battlefields and mythical deeds in their ancestors.

Hunting used to be not just a method of showing masculinity and heroism, despite the fact that. Indian rulers strove to provide an image of privileged ease, perched in luxuriously built taking pictures packing containers and followed through lavish retinues. Their curiosity in being sumptuously sovereign used to be the most important to raising the status of prized video game. Animal Kingdoms will tell historians of the subcontinent with new views and captivate readers with descriptions of its impressive landscapes and wildlife.

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Extra resources for Animal Kingdoms: Hunting, the Environment, and Power in the Indian Princely States

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73 Rather, it was the way history had been recorded and interpreted by outsiders. Tod never visited Bikaner and allegedly relied on biased Jodhpuri sources when writing about the state. His account was distorted by Mewari biases too, which favored lineages like the Sisodias that had remained aloof from the Mughals. Ganga Singh maintained that the Rathor Rajputs of Bikaner had not been lax in repelling Mughal invasions nor in standing against the unreasonable 71╛╛Ian Copland, The Princes of India in the Endgame of Empire, 1917–1947 (New Delhi: Cambridge University Press, 1999), 49.

Peasant cultivators came here seasonally to plant and tend their crops and, less frequently, foresters to harvest the valuable teak. From time to time, princely shooting parties visited to pursue and kill Karkigarh’s tigers and any other game they could find. Karkigarh was a “first class” preserved forest and royal shikargah in Orchha State through the early 1900s. Today it is largely submerged beneath the dammed-up waters of the Betwa river. 1 Karkigarh’s metamorphosis proceeded 1╛╛Collector of Jhansi, to PA-Bundelkhand, October 17, 1907, GOI, CI, 129-A of 1905–8, NAI.

And Panna claimed 2492 sq. 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.

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