Last week, a group of Paliyan women reported that forestry officials subjected them to a strip search while they were walking back from gathering in a forest. Two of India’s major newspapers reported on the allegations and the actions by officials in response to the complaints. According to a report in The Hindu on Tuesday, […]

The four peaceful South Indian foraging societies included in this website have similar beliefs that tend to inhibit conflicts, and they have comparable techniques for resolving them when they do occur. Out of the 18 distinct foraging societies in South India, six have been extensively studied by anthropologists, and four—the Malapandaram, Paliyans, Kadar, and Yanadi—are […]

A recent government decision in India highlighted the differing ways of handling conflict by people raised in a peaceful tradition, such as the Lepchas, versus those steeped in militarism and violence, such as the Gorkhas. Both societies were deeply affected by an announcement from the West Bengal state government two weeks ago. The current round […]

A generation or two ago, anthropologists celebrated the Ju/’hoansi as an archetypical peaceful society, a people who sometimes had their squabbles but who were so dependent on one another that serious fighting was simply out of the question. The scholars who were involved with various research projects in the Kalahari Desert described the ways the […]

The Semai are able to maintain peace in their communities because they can effectively resolve their conflicts. Three scholars who are intimately familiar with those people describe, in a recent article, how they developed their formal, conflict resolution meetings in the last century by modifying Malay practices. The authors maintain, however, that the Semai commitment […]

The village of Likir is nestled in the foothills of the Ladakh Range about 30 miles northwest of Leh, north of the Indus River and the main Leh to Kargil highway. The Lonely Planet guide to India (7th edition) describes the 150 monks in the magnificent Likir monastery as “friendly”—they “offer free tea to visitors […]

What kind of people would say to a child who is adjusting to the birth of an infant into the family, “why don’t you kill your baby brother?” Provocative as the question may seem, the answers are neither simple nor straightforward. But in an article from 1994, just added to the Archive of this website, […]

The people of rural Thailand dislike conflict so much—they feel it destroys social harmony—that they frequently turn to mediators to settle their disputes. For the Rural Thai, conflict not only undercuts positive social relationships, it may also result in a loss of face, which is a very important value for them. Their desire to avoid […]