Epistemologies of Land Relations in India’s Tribal Frontier



Land relations, Nagaland, Genealogy, Epistemology, Indigenous peoples, India


This article contributes to the burgeoning critical literature on Naga lifeworlds by using a heterodox Foucaultian and Marxist framework. The analysis is structured as a genealogy that reinterprets the ways that historical epistemologies have shaped contemporary land relations in Nagaland. Our genealogy draws on place-based interviews to foreground what the history of land relations mean to Nagas today. The discussion sheds new light on (i) the epistemological bearings of gennas on the present-day social realities of Naga-Christianity; (ii) territoriality as an epistemology that reified the village-centered ownership of land; (iii) epistemic ruptures of subjectivation under British colonialism. The paper ends by contextualizing the genealogy of Naga land relations to redress its biased representations and culture of alterity by mainstream media and political outlets in India.


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How to Cite

Pongen, O., & Bosman, M. M. (2023). Epistemologies of Land Relations in India’s Tribal Frontier. The South Asianist Journal, 9, 23–42. Retrieved from https://www.southasianist.ed.ac.uk/article/view/6965