Historical Myths or Mythological History: A Fresh Approach to Understand the History of Assam

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Pranab Jyoti Sarma

Abstract

This paper carries out a critical review of the trends of historical writings in Assam. The historiographical study reveals that the beginning of the historical phase was, in fact, late in the North East region. Moreover, in many of these historical writings, the importance of the local histories of the communities of the region was ignored. The author highlights the fact that a pan-Indian history for the region may not be authentic enough to understand the cultural dynamics of the complex society of the Northeast. The author also focuses on corroborating ‘proper’ historical source material for reconstructing the history of the region rather than deriving inferences from mythology and legends. However, the importance of recent trends in historiography such as selective utilisation of oral traditions, folklores and memory studies has been emphasised. An alternative and more precise periodisation of the historical phase has been provided which does not, however, project any clear marker between periods and eras but emphasises on slow and steady transformations. Importance of archaeological sources and material evidence has been kept in mind while deriving periodical divisions. Relooking at the history of the Koches, Kacharis has been emphasised.

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Sarma, P. J. (2014). Historical Myths or Mythological History: A Fresh Approach to Understand the History of Assam. Space and Culture, India, 2(3), 61-73. https://doi.org/10.20896/saci.v2i3.94
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Pranab Jyoti Sarma, Indian Heritage Cities Network - IHCN, Mysore, India

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