From the ‘Attila of the jungle’ to the ‘big cat’ of the Zoo: a study of a century of representations and reactions around Bengal tigers (North India and South-West Nepal)

Nolwen Vouiller (EHESS – ULiège) gave lectures on “From the ‘Attila of the jungle’ to the ‘big cat’ of the Zoo: a study of a century of representations and reactions around Bengal tigers (North India and South-West Nepal).
Abstract :
“If we had no tiger, what could you wrote?”, said Jagat on the 31st of July 2019, during my first three-month field trip to Nepal, during the monsoon season, on the border of Bardiya National Park, in the southwest of the country. This guide, like so many others, is passionate about the famous Panthera tigris tigris and does not hide it. However, seeing the tiger as a force of nature, as a king or as a big brother, is not unanimous. Over the decades and in different places, the Bengal tiger has been subjected to various human representations and has undergone direct (elimination, confinement, rescue, etc.) or indirect (actions on the environment, on its prey, etc.) treatments. I propose to focus this presentation on a part of my research, on this species specifically in its encounters with humans, by going through a century of history and politics where the tiger has gone from being a sought-after prey to a precious heritage to be saved and now, more and more, to a dangerous problem. The surroundings of Bardiya National Park, which have been my field for the past three years, will be my main focus, but I will not omit to base my presentation on the available literature concerning the tiger in the Tarai of Nepal more generally and in Northern India. I will do my best to highlight the ambivalence and opposing points of view among the populations during the major hypothetical phases mentioned above. The challenge is to understand how humans have organized and adapted, individually and collectively, until today, in the face of this impressive “cute killer”.
Philippe Ramirez (Centre d’études himalayennes – IrAsia) was the discussant for this session. The seminar was held on 21st October at 1:00 pm CET/ 5:30 pm IST at Aix-Marseille University in the Maison de la Recherche (room 2.44).



Cite this blog post
ajeioffice (2024, April 14). From the ‘Attila of the jungle’ to the ‘big cat’ of the Zoo: a study of a century of representations and reactions around Bengal tigers (North India and South-West Nepal). AJEI - Association Jeunes Études Indiennes. Retrieved June 21, 2024, from https://doi.org/10.58079/w81s