Dolly Kikon

Dolly Kikon
University of Melbourne | MSD · SSPS

PhD Social and Cultural Anthropology, Stanford University

About

57
Publications
15,521
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
192
Citations
Citations since 2017
42 Research Items
162 Citations
2017201820192020202120222023010203040
2017201820192020202120222023010203040
2017201820192020202120222023010203040
2017201820192020202120222023010203040
Additional affiliations
October 2013 - December 2015
Stockholm University
Position
  • PostDoc Position

Publications

Publications (57)
Article
Full-text available
This essay draws from my ethnographic fieldwork in Northeast India and examines how identities are mediated through fermented food like bamboo shoot. These shoots come in different textures and forms: wet chunky pieces, sun-dried and stringy threads, smoked and curly strands. Our relationship with fermented food, as this essay highlights, determine...
Article
Full-text available
This article traces how food cultures in India reiterate social hierarches and caste logics of cleanliness and purity. Religious, intellectual and aesthetics battles about food preferences underline how the upper caste sensibilities justify and regulate everyday consumption and dietary practices. An integral part of Brahminical power is based on re...
Chapter
This chapter explores the recasting of Naga hunting traditions in the city. Dimapur is an enclave of tribal territory surrounded by Assam on three sides. Hunting expeditions bring hunters from the city into Assam’s territory, where they come into contact with different security forces, other hunters, insurgents, and otherworldly spirits. And while...
Chapter
This chapter examines living and dying in Dimapur as a place-making practice. The ambiguities of belonging emerge in death, as relatives want the bodies sent back to ancestral villages. In this sense, Dimapur remains a migrant city where a sense of impermanence always dwells among the numerous tribal residents settled here. Increasing numbers of Na...
Chapter
This chapter analyses the efforts to make Dimapur more city-like. Beginning with attempts to hold municipal elections with reserved seats for women in 2017, we navigate the deeply contentious politics around the classification and re-classification of space in the city. As the largest city in a tribal state, Dimapur is an experiment in the producti...
Chapter
This chapter unravels the core tensions at the heart of Dimapur’s urban politics, the growth of a migrant city in a tribal territory. Beginning with the public lynching of rape accused Syed Farid Khan, we analyse the centrality of the incident to Dimapur’s demographic anxieties. Dimapur is a space settled from multiple directions by different commu...
Chapter
This chapter follows the sounds of Dimapur through the lives of musicians and the nascent music industry. Dimapur has become a home for Naga musicians to establish music schools and recording studios and to hold events across many genres. Dimapur is also the subject of the city’s music. Musicians write and sing about the city, giving the urban land...
Book
For a city in India’s northeast that has been embroiled in the everyday militarization and violence of Asia’s longest-running armed conflict, Dimapur remains ‘off the map’. With no ‘glorious’ past or arenas where events of consequence to mainstream India have taken place, Dimapur’s essence is experienced in oral histories of events, visual archives...
Presentation
During the Pandemic presents art works of children from violent homes in Nagaland (India). As a collaborative exhibition with children, guardians, social workers, researchers, and grassroots organisations, this project celebrates art made by vulnerable children to share their experiences of the pandemic. The exhibition offers how children depict...
Article
Full-text available
Article
Full-text available
Lemon farming promoted as rehabilitation programs in western Assam has generated income for villages that were deeply affected by ethnic conflict in the 1990s. Rehabilitation is tied to an economic logic linked with the market and a profit-driven measure of development. In the absence of an official reconciliation process on the ground, these econo...
Article
Full-text available
The anxieties to produce good research work is inherent in academia. Particularly, in the social sciences, research work that requires fieldwork and demands an encounter with the larger society that is outside one’s respective departments and the university produces various kinds of experiences and feelings. Among anthropologists, one can be lost i...
Book
Cambridge Core - Social and Cultural Anthropology - Leaving the Land - by Dolly Kikon
Chapter
Full-text available
Book
Full-text available
The nineteenth-century discovery of oil in the eastern Himalayan foothills, together with the establishment of tea plantations and other extractive industries, continues to have a profound impact on life in the region. In the Indian states of Assam and Nagaland, everyday militarization, violence, and the scramble for natural resources regulate the...
Article
Full-text available
In a recruitment centre in Dimapur, Nagaland, indigenous youth are trained for employment as service personnel in luxury hotels, restaurants and airlines. Most of them are unemployed, seeking new future prospects outside the region and the harsh existence of subsistence agriculture. English language skills, a general cosmopolitan outlook and their...
Article
Full-text available
In a recruitment centre in Dimapur, Nagaland, indigenous youth are trained for employment as service personnel in luxury hotels, restaurants and airlines. Most of them are unemployed, seeking new future prospects outside the region and the harsh existence of subsistence agriculture. English language skills, a general cosmopolitan outlook and their...
Chapter
Full-text available
Article
Full-text available
This article focuses on the pathways of indigenous migrants from Northeast India and examines their lives as workers in the hospitality industry. Experiences of indigenous migrants allows us to study emerging trends of indigenous mobility and consumption in India. Indigenous migration from Northeast India is distinct because it is a movement away f...
Chapter
Full-text available
In January 2017, many of these tribal bodies stepped up the opposition to implement 33 per cent reservation for Naga women and brought the state to a standstill. The violent protests that shut down educational institutions, public offices and shops across the state were aimed at stopping the urban local bodies election scheduled for February 1, 201...
Article
Full-text available
This article examines how adivasis in Assam assert their sense of belonging to the land. Based on ethnographic fieldwork conducted along the foothills bordering Assam and Nagaland, I present the everyday lives of adivasi villagers in a militarised landscape and examine how adivasi belonging and identity are constructed in a political milieu where i...
Article
Full-text available
Article
Full-text available
ABSTRACT In the last decade, large numbers of indigenous youth from the uplands of Northeast India have migrated to metropolitan cities across the country. Many end up in the new service sector, getting jobs in high-end restaurants, shopping malls and spas. The demand for their labour is due to their un-Indian ‘exotic Asian’ appearance and a reputa...
Article
Full-text available
In this article, I focus on the social life of vernacular human rights culture in Northeast India and present three ethnographic accounts about experiences of human rights from the region. Often engagements about human rights and engage with different audiences – from policy makers, activists, academics, and grassroots organisations – quickly fall...
Research
Full-text available
Perpetrators of sexual violence escape justice, while their victims are trapped between exhortations by women's advocacy groups not to 'suffer quietly' and the social stigma attached to sexual violence. Audience in Chui Village during a public meeting, Nagaland. Photo: Dolly Kikon The Indo-Naga armed conflict is recognized as the longest insurgency...
Research
Full-text available
Landlessness and rural deprivation have historically been virtually absent in the uplands of Northeast India. Currently, due to the increasing presence of a monetarised market oriented economy, rural destitution is becoming an everyday reality. Previously, jhum or swidden cultivation would produce subsistence crops such as rice in abundance, but in...
Article
Full-text available
Chapter
Full-text available
Article
Full-text available
The 3 August meeting between Naga leaders and Government of India representatives is a step towards seeking a solution to the Naga issue. Those who are sceptical about the Framework Agreement that has been signed have obvious questions on their minds. Who are the groups of people and classes that fi nd comfort in the idea of a unique Naga history a...
Article
Full-text available
In this article, I explore notions of modernity, citizenship, belonging and transgressions in South Asia through the fermented food, Akhuni. Fermented soya beans, popularly known as Akhuni in Nagaland, a state in Northeast India with a majority tribal population, has a distinct pungent aroma and taste. This food is relished across the eastern Himal...
Article
Full-text available
Development projects in the North East are packaged as economic interventions to improve the lives of people, but are detached from militarised ground realities. These initiatives to rebuild post-conflict societies mainly focus on training entrepreneurs and promoting livelihood schemes while overlooking how violence has transformed the very foundat...
Article
Full-text available
Militarisation and structural violence under the Armed Forces Specials Powers Act (AFSPA) is tied to a strong moral framework to proselytise recalcitrant citizens. Deploying Jacque Derrida's point that law is not justice, this paper highlights how the pursuit of justice within the framework of law is a challenging task. Interrogating the contention...
Chapter
Full-text available
The mission to civilize the “savage” Naga headhunters inhabiting the Northeastern frontier of India was accidental. The primary concern for the British administration was centered on protecting their lucrative tea trade and oil explorations in the Brahmaputra valley. Colonial regulations and expeditions systematically encroached upon community land...
Article
Full-text available
'Nationalism' among the Nagas and the struggle for 'Nagalim' has, in the half-century since the 1951 Naga referendum witnessed several shifts and changing phases. While definitions of 'freedom' and 'self-determination' may differ, and there is at present a plethora of Naga representative bodies, there is nevertheless broad agreement among Nagas, li...

Network

Cited By

Projects

Projects (3)
Project
This is part of my current research on fermenting cultures in the eastern Himalayas.
Archived project
This exhibition is concerned with the lives and lifeworlds of indigenous migrants who have travelled from the faraway Northeastern frontier to the expanding cities of South India. This movement does not involve the crossing of any international border, yet both geographically and culturally it is a movement into a very different place. It is a movement away from predominantly rural livelihoods with subsistence agriculture and politics revolving around ethnic homelands, with armed struggles and massive human rights violations and a corrupt local state structure, to a life in major Indian cities, where migrants are seen as outsiders, yet where their un-Indian looks and English language skills helps provide jobs in the growing, global service sector. The exhibition is part of a larger anthropological research project where Dolly Kikon and Bengt Karlsson examine why an increasing number of indigenous youth from Northeast India have started to migrate, leaving the land, at this particular point of time. This mobility has to be understood in the context of an affirmative action regime and a political culture that privilege sedentarism, that is, that people stay put in place and claim rights to ancestral territories.