Priests and Cobblers: A Study of Social Change in a Hindu Village in Western Nepal
Author: A. Patricia Caplan
This book is study of the changing relations between members of the priestly caste (Brahmins) and a group of untouchables (Cobblers). The study covers a periods of several decades up to the time of fieldwork at the end of the 1960s in a Hindu village in western Nepal. From a position of almost total economic dependence on the priestly caste, the untouchables had become increasingly independent because of the new opportunities available in the expanding economy of the area. As a result of this they had begun to oppose the Brahmins politically. At the time of the original publication of this book (1972), there was very little published material written by anthropologists on Hindu village society in Nepal, and very little that dealt with relations between high caste and untouchables anywhere else in South Asia. The author does however seek to put her study into wider perspective by comparing it with other literature on change in South Asia. Pat. Caplan is Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at Goldsmith College, University of London.