Collection Description

Culture Name

Uttar Pradesh

Culture Description

Uttar Pradesh is one India's twenty-eight linguistically-based states, covering the former United Provinces of Agra and Udah. It is India's fourth largest state and borders Nepal to the north. Most families earn their living from intensive cereal cultivation combined with animal husbandry. Traditional social structure in the state rested on the caste system in which the occupation and status of a person was largely inherited. With the expansion of education and India's impressive development especially since the 1990s, villagers in the state have witnessed significant changes, including to the caste-based division of labor.


Select the Culture Summary link above for a longer description of the culture.


Asia --South Asia



OWC Code


Number of Documents


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Number of Pages


Collection Overview

Documents referred to in this section are included in eHRAF World Cultures and are referenced by author, date of publication and eHRAF document number.

Uttar Pradesh Collection (AW19) covers cultural, economic and environmental information circa 1900s to mid-1980s. A majority of the included documents are village-level studies. The basic works to consult are two documents by anthropologist Edward Morris Opler and his India co-author Rudra Datt Singh. One of these works is a comparative study of the villages of Ramapur and Madhopur with particular emphasis on similarities and differences in aspects of the economy, political organization, social structure and the caste system (Opler and Singh 1952, no. 3). The other focuses on the nature of the caste-based division of labor and village life in Senapur (Opler and Singh 1954, no. 4). The information in these documents is enriched by four follow-up studies by Opler. Coverage includes the place of religion in village life (Opler 1954, n. 11), regional and inter-village socioeconomic ties (Opler 1956, no. 10), recent changes in family structure (Opler 1960, no. 6) and local political economy (Opler 1952, no. 7).

Themes covered in the remaining documents include family and community life in the village of Karimpur (Wiser and Wiser 1930, no. 2), villagers’ experiences with western medicine (Marriot 1955, no. 4), cultural rules relating to respect and gift exchange (Lapoint 1986, no. 8), dynamics of culture change (Luschinsky 1963, no. 9) and caste interaction (Sankhdher 1974, no. 12) in different villages.

For more detailed information on the context of the individual works in the file, see the abstracts in the citations preceding each document.

Overview by

Teferi Adem

Holi –The spring festival held at the full moon of the Hindu (mid-February to mid-march)– Use REST DAYS AND HOLIDAYS ( 527)

Ijjat –respect– Use ETIQUETTE ( 576) and/or ETHICS ( 577)

Panchayats –councils– Use COUNCILS ( 623) or LOCAL OFFICIALS ( 624)

Parda –seclusion of women– Use GENDER STATUS ( 562) or FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS ( 593)

Pundit –a person who is learned in Hindu sacred books– Use PRIESTHOOD ( 793) with SACRED OBJECTS AND PLACES ( 778)

Thankur –landlord or master of an area– Use REAL PROPERTY ( 423) or COMMUNITY HEADS ( 622)

Varnas –castes– Use CASTES ( 564)

Zamindars –landlords– Use REAL PROPERTY ( 423) and/or CLASSES ( 565)

Indexing Notes by

Teferi Adem

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