Xth ICAES, New Delhi, December 1978

Updated: Sep 13, 2021

Arbind Sinha Advisor MICA, Ahmedabad Email: arbind21@gmail.com



India’s hosting of the Xth Congress of Anthropology in 1978 was not a coincidence. From the mid-1900s, world anthropology not only witnessed accelerated proliferation and diversification in the development of sub-fields and topics, but also the recognition of the value of anthropological studies in the non-western world by the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (IUAES). They agreed to hold their quinquennial (5 years) International Congress of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (ICAES) in other parts of the world that had never hosted any such Congress since inception in 1934. History was created during the ninth ICAES, held in Chicago (USA) when in the banquet hall of the Conrad Hilton Hotel of Chicago on September 09, 1973, the IUAES made a declaration that the next Congress would be held in India. This was the beginning of a new era in the domain of the discipline – symbolic of the wind of change. It was not only a celebration of the autonomy of Indian academics but also a moment of pride for other third-world countries.


Prof. L P Vidyatrhi of Ranchi University, the leader of the Indian delegation comprising of Head of the Departments of Anthropology in Universities across the country as well as an equally strong team of anthropologists working with other non-teaching departments and organizations, was appointed the President of IUAES (1973-78). As per the tradition, the President of the Union was also to be the President of the Congress. Pro