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Shooting a TigerBig-Game Hunting and Conservation in Colonial India$
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Vijaya Ramadas Mandala

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780199489381

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199489381.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 07 December 2021

Hunting as ‘Sport’ in Colonial India

Hunting as ‘Sport’ in Colonial India

Codes of Sportsmanship, Firearms, Race, and Class in Hunting

(p.161) 3 Hunting as ‘Sport’ in Colonial India
Shooting a Tiger

Vijaya Ramadas Mandala

Oxford University Press

This chapter is concerned with the development of hunting as ‘sport’, whereby colonial hunters from the late nineteenth century began to carefully shape the idiom of the hunt, gradually distancing themselves from indigenous hunting methods. By systematically showcasing their skill and sportsmanship, British hunters portrayed their methods and practices as more sophisticated than the older native traditions. This study also elaborates on how different terrains and environments determined the planning and organization of hunts by the British hunters across the presidencies. Rank, authority, and privilege not only operated between the colonizers and colonized, but also within the world of British hunting communities. In contrast to the Company period, hunting became a microcosm of imperial society in late nineteenth-century India, and different sorts of hunts and clubs were open to people of various ranks. In addition, the making of hunting into a ‘sport’ was heavily linked to a discourse of class and race, drawing upon ideas of chivalry and with only the most acceptable hunting practices encoded into sportsmanship. The development of a class-based regime of hunting is evident in the way pig-sticking came to be regarded as the most superior kind of hunt, because it required great skill in horse-riding and horsemanship, presented added danger and utilized the spear rather than the gun. The chapter also explains how technological change in firearms took place and the way in which such changes were related to the transformation of hunting mores in nineteenth-century India.

Keywords:   ‘sport’, indigenous hunting methods, sportsmanship, native traditions, environment, terrain, hunts, clubs, calss, race, pig-sticking, horse-riding, spear, gun

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