Retrograde. Bamboozlement! More Bamboozlement!

People of India: a series of photographic illustrations, 1868

One of the responses of British to the events of 1857 was to try and better categorize the people that they had come to rule. They went around with their cameras and shot all kind of natives, all tribes, castes, races, religions, belonging to places all across the length and breadth of this land and put them in books and added neat captions to these photographs describing in brief the 'must remember' of each native type. All this in hope that it would help them govern these people and more importantly rule the land better. One of the gigantic product of such an exercise was the eight volume series titled 'The People of India' published between 1868 and 1875. Collected from these eight volumes of 'The people of India : a series of photographic illustrations, with descriptive letterpress, of the races and tribes of Hindustan' (1868) by John William Kaye, Meadows Taylor, J. Forbes Watson,[available at archive.org] here are 345 photographs of the people of India.



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2 comments:

  1. I love reading the reports from the very old Census of India. The ones between 1871 and 1901 are available at "Digital Colonial Documents" hosted by the "Digital South Asia Library" at Chicago http://www.chaf.lib.latrobe.edu.au/dcd/census.htm

    I think you might like this, except that content on J&K (since it wasn't quite a part of British India) might be meager and it is huge masses of text.

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  2. Thanks for the link. That really is a mass of text. And I actually have collected lot of census data of J&K. Even though Kashmir wasn't part of British India it was in a way under British Dominion. The best document on that census data would be 'Gazetteer of Kashmir' (1870-72) by Captain Bates.

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