Verrier Elwin obtained his DSc in Anthropology from the University of Oxford where he was the Vice Principal of Wycliffe Hall and later Chaplain of Merton College. He later served as Deputy Director of the Anthropological Survey of India, Kolkata; Adviser, Tribal Affairs, North East Frontier Agency (NEFA) Administration. Elwin took Indian Citizenship in 1954.
Academic and Research Achievements: Elwin was a leading authority on India’s tribal people. His first major anthropological work was The Baiga which he wrote after staying in India for seven years. His next work was The Agarias, which dealt with his studies on blacksmiths and iron-studied the Orissa tribes, particularly of the Bastar state, and conducted several other anthropological studies in NEFA (A Philosophy for NEFA, 1957) and other areas. His works are preserved at the National Museum, New Delhi. Two of his books The Muria and Their Ghotu (1947) and The Religion of an Indian Tribe (1955) are considered as classics in anthropological and anthrographical literature. Jointly with WG Archer, he edited Man in India from 1943-48. His close association with Mahatma Gandhi contributed a great deal to the humanitarian part of his works.
Awards and Honours: Verrier Elwin received the Wellcome Medal (1942), the SC Roy Gold Medal (1945), the Annandale Medal of the Royal Society of Bengal (1951), the Revers Medal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, the Campbell Gold Medal of the Asiatic Society, Mumbai and both the Dadabhai Naoroji Prize and the Padma Bhushan in 1961. He was a Fellow of the Asiatic Society, Kolkata; Royal Anthropological Institute; Asiatic Society (Mumbai); a Foreign Fellow of the American Anthropological Association; and a Member d’Honneur of the I’Ecole Francaise d’Extreme Orient.