Corrosion Of Tribal Social Customs Owing To Acculturation: A Study Of Bodos In India

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Alaka Basumatary


With fast changing scenario of human society in the light of advancement of technology, indigenous communities are observed to struggle for preserving the distinctive features of their culture and society. In their endeavour to keep pace with the modern civilisation, many of them are found to give up their original cultural traits and adopt traits of other culture. In this way, many indigenous communities have already gone extinct and some have ceased to exist as a distinct community.  Backward societies fail to choose the necessary course of action in order to maintain their distinctive features, as a consequence, in many cases, they blindly imitate others. India is a treasure of indigenous communities, most of whom are educationally, socially and economically backward. These backward communities are named Scheduled Tribes in the Constitution of India. These tribes are seen to always play the role of recipient group in the process of acculturation. Sometimes the changes in different aspects of a culture may not be desirable as per their quest for stable, distinct and unperturbed society. With this view, this study has been made to know about social customary changes in the Bodo society, which is a society of a scheduled tribe community, called Bodo, of the Northeast India. The study shows that massive changes are occurring in the social customs of the Bodos. They have already lost many distinctive features of their social customs; some new customs adopted from other societies are on the process of incorporation to their society. The findings of the study lead to a conclusion that it is the high time for the Bodos to critically analyse regarding adoption of foreign social customs which would be positive or adaptive for them in relation to maintenance of distinctiveness of their society.

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