Hindu Exogamy

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    Abstract

    IN attempting to formulate a theory of Hindu exogamy, Mr. Karandikar has attacked a subject of considerable intricacy, and if his book is difficult the fault is not to be attributed to the author. He seeks to extract the evidence for exogamy from the earliest Sanskrit literature and to trace its history and development through the later documents, while at the same time comparing or contrasting it with the practice in Indian culture. Owing to the general dissociation of the study of Sanskrit literature from anthropological studies, the subject is not one which hitherto has been attacked on these lines. It would appear that among the Aryan invaders, exogamy was not practised. Indeed, the union of close kin was encouraged. The present exogamy of the Indo-Aryans is derived from the gotra—sept or clan—a word which occurs a few times only in the Rig-Veda. On the other hand, there appears to have been a form of sapinda exogamy based upon the generations on both the father's and the mother's side. Mr. Karandikar has traced the development of these forms of exogamy from early times and shows how, by a process of admixture and borrowing as between Aryan and Dravidian stocks, the forms of exogamy as at present practised in India have come about. He concludes with some considerations of the eugenic aspect of the practice on the population of India.

    Hindu Exogamy.

    S. V. Karandikar. (University of Bombay Publication.) Pp. xv + 308. (Bombay: D. B. Taraporevala, Sons and Co., 1929.) 6 rupees.

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