Hindu Manners  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Hindu Manners, Customs and Ceremonies (1899) is a book by Jean-Antoine Dubois, awork of Indology

Although Dubois disclaimed the title of author, his collections were not so much drawn from the Hindu sacred books as from his own careful and vivid observations, and it is this, united to a remarkable prescience, that makes his work so valuable. The book contains three parts:

  • a general view of society in India, and especially of the caste system
  • the four states of Brahminical life
  • religious practices — festivals, feasts, temples, objects of worship

Lord William Bentinck purchased Dubois's French manuscript for eight thousand rupees for the British East India Company in 1807. In 1816 an English translation was published, and about 1864, a curtailed reprint of this edition was issued. The Abbé, however, largely recast his work as Mœurs, institutions et cérémonies des peuples de l'Inde (published in Paris in 1825), and in 1897 this revised text (now in the India Office) was published in an edition with notes by H. K. Beauchamp.

Sylvie Murr has claimed that Dubois' Hindu Manners, Customs and Ceremonies derived from Gaston-Laurent Cœurdoux's original manuscript, Mœurs et coutumes des Indiens, now lost.

See Mœurs et coutumes des Indiens (1777). Un inédit du Père G.-L. Cœurdoux, SJ, dans la version de N.-J. Desvaulx. Vol. 1. Ed. Sylvie Murr. Paris: École Française d'Extrême-Orient, 1987. L'Indologie du Père Cœurdoux. Vol. 2. Éd. Sylvie Murr. Paris: École Française d'Extrême-Orient, 1987. See also Richard De Smet, Review of the two volumes of Murr, Indian Theological Studies 27 (1990) 371-373.

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