Kinship Matters: Women's land claims in the Santal Parganas, Jharkhand

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This article discusses the strengthening of kinship ties amongst the Santal community in a village in Jharkhand state in India. The context of progressive marginalization from the state and markets has resulted in the Santals asserting their adivasi identity by recourse to customary institutions as well as rigidifying patrilineal rules of inheritance. While this leads generally to an erosion of women's rights to inherit land, under certain circumstances women are supported by kin elders when they bring grievances to the legal courts. Women's relationship to their kinship group thus seems ambiguous: kinship can simultaneously be not only a source of deprivation and suppression but also a way of staking claims to resources, especially in the face of the inadequacies of formal state mechanisms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)725-746
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of the Royal Anthropological Institute
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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