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By D.D. Kosambi

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Though tough, insolent and willing to fight, they are proud of their reputation for never stealing anything; proud also of their solid-looking, though badly built, unsanitary, individually owned houses. Their original language is a dialect of Telugu, still used among themselves. They have their own goddess and a characteristic form of (crouched) burial, in a sitting posture, Indian style, with legs crossed. An empty space is left in the grave-pit, in front of the corpse’s head, obviously for breathing; food is placed once a year on the cairn above the pit.

Formulae from the Rgveda are still recited, after three millennia, at orthodox Hindu marriage and funeral ceremonies for the higher castes; but the same rites often show features that have no vedic justification whatever, practised with the same earnestness as the documented vedic portion, without incongruity or contradiction being felt by the participant. Concentration upon the study of religion, superstition, ritual can lead us very far away from history ; to neglect their study altogether throws away valuable features of the superstructure that indicate real changes in the basis.

128-161, particularly p. 151) changes the list of stages, adding the primitive tribal form, which is implied by the later work of Marx and Engels, and the socialist form which came into existence very recently, but omitting the Asiatic niQde altogether. 14. There was some inconclusive discussion in the defunct Pod Znamenem Marksizma about what was meant by the Asiatic mode of 16 NOTES TO CHAPTER I production. India showed a series of parallel forms which cannot be put into the precise categories, for the mode based on slavery is absent, feudalism greatly different from the European type with serfdom and the manorial economy.

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