This volume focuses on little kingdoms, a concept developed by
anthropologists and historians to characterize a specific type of local rulership
in South Asia. It emphasizes the role of Hermann Kulke, whose work on the
little kingdoms of Odisha took forward the explorations of Bernard Cohn and
Nicholas Dirks. It also integrates the most comprehensive of these models,
i.e. the little kingdom model, with post-modern historiography, which is an
important and hitherto neglected issue in current historiographical debates.
The essays herein seek to formulate models in analogy to the textual and
anthropological studies that have elaborated the idea of the little kingdom
as a multifaceted reality—a reality expressed in ritual and performative
processes, as well as in textual and oral representations.