ELWIN, Verrier.

The Art of the North-East Frontier of India.

Shillong: North-East Frontier Agency, 1959 Stock Code: 137524

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First edition, first printing, signed in red at the head of the half-title by the visionary American inventor, designer, and environmentalist Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983), and with his neat library subject label (reading "anthropology") taped to foot of spine. Copies in the jacket are certainly uncommon.

Handsome monograph on the culture and art of the hill people of the modern Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. Verrier Elwin (1902-1964) had first-hand experience in the region as Adviser for Tribal Affairs in the North-East Frontier Agency. The jacket blurb states that "there are many destructive forces at work" in the region but that "under the right conditions we may yet see a renaissance of creative activity, especially in the field of fabrics and sculpture". Elwin's appointment as adviser "involved much arduous travel in north-east India, and afforded the opportunity to train a body of officials aware of the needs of the tribals. Though increasingly discouraged by the relentless destruction of the tribal world he was able with Nehru's support to influence public policy at the highest level, for example in the Scheduled Tribes Commission, and had the fullest possible scope for what he called his 'philanthropology'. He was awarded the national honour, the Padma Bhushan, in 1961" (ODNB).

An attractively provenanced copy, the combined disciplines of anthropology and ecology being of especial interest to Fuller.

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Quarto. Original pale cream-coloured linen, spine and front cover lettered in red and decorated in black. With the jacket.


15 colour plates, numerous hallf-tone illustrations and line drawings in the text.


Jacket spine lightly sunned, torn at head with slight loss, binding a little cocked. An excellent copy, clean, firm and sharp-cornered.


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