In Forest, Field and Factory: Adivasi Habitations through Twentieth Century India


Author: Gauri Bharat

9789353288068 | HB | pp. 200 | 2019 | SAGE, YODA Press

This book uncovers how and why Adivasi dwellings changed.It focuses on Santals, one of the largest Adivasi communities renowned for their skill in art and domestic architecture.

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In the early twentieth century, Adivasi villages typically comprised small wooden huts amid a thickly forested landscape. Today, Adivasi dwellings are larger, more permanent, built of mud and often covered with elaborate murals. Drawing out stories of everyday lives that have largely remained hidden from history. This book uncovers how and why Adivasi dwellings changed, and what it reveals about communities’ relationships with their environments. It focuses on Santals, one of the largest Adivasi communities in eastern India, who are particularly renowned for precision and craftsmanship in domestic architecture and mural art. Why did Santal families shift from using wood to building with mud? How did different Santal villages develop distinctly different mural art traditions? In answering these questions, a new kind of historical narrative emerges—one that is not about buildings alone but also provides insights into Adivasi people’s lives and their engagements with social, environmental and historical environments via architecture. This book will be of equal interest to students and scholars of architecture, history, environment studies and anthropology.

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Gauri Bharat









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About the Author

The author is Associate Professor, Faculty of Architecture, and the Program Chair for Architectural History and Theory at CEPT University, Ahmedabad. Her research interests include understanding how people engage with the built environments, and the ways in which people produce, transform and inhabit them. She combines her knowledge of art history, from PhD at the University of East Anglia, with her understanding of architecture, from MA Arch. from National University of Singapore, for her work on Adivasi-built environments as an archive of history.


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