Publication Type: Journal article / chapter
Countries: India
Authors: Richard Axelby Suzanne Rigaud

Hidden in a remote valley in the Indian Himalayas, the village of Malana is presented as a self-governing egalitarian community. Cosmologically committed to evading external influence, Malana has its own system of village government and its own court for settling disputes. This paper updates the 1950s account of anthropologist Colin Rosser which describes the mechanics of Malana’s physical, political, social, and economic isolation. Updating the story to the present permits a re-evaluation of Rosser’s finding as the authors consider how change has come to Malana, and how different aspects of change are bound together through the shared cultural logic of the Malani people and a set of political institutions determined to manage relations with the world beyond the village.