By Julie E. Hughes
One summer season night in 1918, a leopard wandered into the gardens of an Indian palace. Roused through the alarms of servants, the prince’s eldest son and his entourage rode elephant-back to discover and shoot the intruder. a thrilling yet insignificant vignette of lifestyles lower than the British Raj, we might imagine. but to the members, the search used to be weighted down with symbolism. conscientiously choreographed in response to royal protocols, recorded through scribes and venerated by means of courtroom artists, it was once a powerful demonstrate of regal dominion over males and beasts alike. Animal Kingdoms uncovers the far-reaching cultural, political, and environmental value of looking in colonial India.
Julie E. Hughes explores how Indian princes depended on their prowess as hunters to increase own prestige and solidify strength. Believing that males and animals built related features through inhabiting a shared surroundings, they sought out quarry―fierce tigers, agile boar―with characteristics they was hoping to domesticate in themselves. principally debarred from army actions less than the British, additionally they used the search to set up significant hyperlinks with the historical battlefields and mythical deeds in their ancestors.
Hunting was once not just a way of showing masculinity and heroism, even if. Indian rulers strove to provide an image of privileged ease, perched in luxuriously equipped taking pictures containers and observed via lavish retinues. Their curiosity in being sumptuously sovereign was once an important to raising the status of prized online game. Animal Kingdoms will tell historians of the subcontinent with new views and captivate readers with descriptions of its great landscapes and wildlife.
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Additional info for Animal Kingdoms: Hunting, the Environment, and Power in the Indian Princely States
Environmental degradation is supposed to have naturally resulted in a heightened incidence of man-eaters and cattle-killers. 14 While the evidence indicates their preference for wild species, the most important factor in tiger predation is availability. During droughts, the number of livestock found in tiger habitats increases as conditions force herds to range farther in search of fodder and water. , ed. Rosie Woodroffe, Simon Thirgood, and Alan Rabinowitz (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005), 393.
19:247. 67â•›Beville, to Gabriel, October 11, 1902, GOI, BA, 42 of 1902, NAI. 68â•›â•›Charles Eckford Luard, Gazetteer of India Eastern States (Bundelkhand) (Bhopal: Gazetteers Department, Government of India, 1995), 1 and 3. , 32 Animal Kingdoms including blackbuck, chinkara gazelle, and the ubiquitous leopard. Orchha was middling in its landscape as well, lacking the distinction of Mewar’s rugged hills. Riverine islands along the course of the Betwa occasionally offered some satisfactory tiger shooting, but Pratap Singh’s grounds on the whole were undistinguished and best known for small game.
He defends against charges of environmental mismanagement: ibid. 75, 82, and 83, and rejects allegations that sport hurt state subjects: ibid. 51, 73–4, and 88–9. 79â•›â•›Andrew Topsfield, personal communication, January 15, 2009. 38 Animal Kingdoms of specific grounds and prey. “Exceptional Game in Powerful Places” uses examples from Mewar to illustrate the links between a state’s coveted reputation of superiority and the peculiar benefits of local wildlife and sporting landscapes. “Controlling Environments for Progressive Sport” describes conditions in Bikaner to explore the strategies princes could pursue to physically alter or rhetorically exalt a state’s shooting to compensate for perceived environmental deficiencies.
Animal Kingdoms: Hunting, the Environment, and Power in the Indian Princely States by Julie E. Hughes