Woody, Thorny, and Predatory Forests: Grassland Transformations in the Nilgiris, South India


Looking at the pastoral Toda people of the Wenlock Downs, this paper considers grassland transformations in the Nilgiris, in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Much afforestation has occurred since independence in 1947, resulting in a vegetated landscape that the Toda find unruly. Historicizing the causes of such unruliness, this paper highlights the post-independence utilitarian concerns and notions of sovereignty that led to the development of a dark, woody, thorny, and predatory landscape.

DOI: doi.org/10.5282/rcc/7319