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Conservation and Society
An interdisciplinary journal exploring linkages between society, environment and development
Conservation and Society
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ARTICLE
Year : 2010  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 112-126

Sports-hunting, Fairness and Colonial Identity: Collaboration and Subversion in the Northwestern Frontier Region of the British Indian Empire


Department of Anthropology, Trinity College, Hartford, CT, USA

Correspondence Address:
Shafqat Hussain
Department of Anthropology, Trinity College, Hartford, CT
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0972-4923.68911

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This paper examines the place of hunting in the construction of identity for both British colonial sportsmen and indigenous hunters on the north-western frontier region of the British Indian empire, illustrating how their competing moral orders are placed in tension in the colonial encounter through the shared experience of hunting. I show that the British sportsmen generally used ideas of fairness in hunting to mark themselves off from the indigenous hunters while colonial frontier officers specifically, through their adeptness in hunting, differentiated themselves from other colonial officers. I argue that ideas of fairness had a different place in the indigenous hunting practices, and often clashed with the 'moral ecology' of the colonial hunters. Using the example of 'palming off', I show how unlike the clash of moral ecologies in relation to hunting practices, the process through which the identities of colonial hunters were constructed was a precarious and contingent one in which indigenous collaboration played a crucial role.


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