Orchid Press Publishing has a wide collection of well illustrated books, appealing to both the layman and the scholar, and written by specialists. Forthcoming releases are available in the libraries below.
||Precious Materials in Asian History:
Essays on Turquoise, Amber, Ivory, Diamond and Gold
by Berthold Laufer
2018, 275 pp., 2 col. & 24 b & w plates, index, 24.5 x 17.5 cm., softcover.
ISBN-10: 974-524-109-1 Price to be announced.
Essays on the sources, usage, social significance and folklore of some of the most prominent precious materials in the history of China, South Asia and the Himalayas. A rich source of information on the anthropological implications of these materials, and the sometimes subtle links that developed between East and West in the quest for these treasured substances.
Berthold Laufer (1874-1934) was one of the earliest and most erudite Western scholars of Asian culture. He was the primary contributor to the great collection of anthropological material now preserved at the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, a collection he curated for some 26 years. A world renowned expert on jade in China, his writings on which remain important references to the present, the current collection of essays summarize his writings on precious substances other than jade.
CENTRAL ASIAN STUDIES
||Religions of the Hindukush
by Karl Jettmar
2018, 525 pp., 12 b&w plates, 24 line drawings and sketches, 3 maps, 23 x 15 cm., hardcover.
ISBN-13: 978-974-524-127-5 $65.00
The traditional religion and rituals of the remote tribal groups along the borderlands of eastern Afghanistan and northern Pakistan, with their complex cosmology of gods and demons, preserved elements from archaic Indo-Aryan, and possibly even pre-Vedic, beliefs.
While the peoples of this region were converted to Islam by the turn of the 20th century, the deeply conservative nature and geographical isolation of these tribes have combined to preserve ancient folk religious practices long extinct elsewhere in Central and South Asia.
The author, a renowned Austrian anthropologist, integrates the diverse scholarly findings of colleagues in the fields of linguistics, cultural history and archaeology, with his own field investigations to construct an authoritative, yet highly readable account of the religious practices of this remote and little understood corner of Asia.
A groundbreaking and indispensable reference both for the general student of Asian religions and for those with special focus on the tribal cultures and customs of eastern Afghanistan and Pakistan’s North-West Frontier Province.
The Life and Work of Robert Hans van Gulik
by C. D. Barkman & H. de Vries-van der Hoeven
2018, 362 pp., 31 b&w photos, 14 b&w line drawings & figures, 23 x 15 cm, softbound.
ISBN-13: 978-974-524-200-5 $29.95
Diplomat, Asian scholar, author, polyglot, polymath, passionate lover of life in all its forms, Robert van Gulik researched and wrote prolifically on a wide range of Asian subects, such as Chinese scroll mounting, sexual life in China and the Chinese lute—an instrument that he was also mastered as a musician. In addition to his more esoteric writings, van Gulik achieved wide popular fame as the author of a series of mystery novels based on the life of semi-fictional Judge Dee in ancient China.
Two former colleagues and close acquaintances of van Gulik have combined their own experiences with recollections of family and other contemporaries, as well as detailed entries in the diaries of the man himself to provide us with an entertaining and highly readable portrait of a remarkable life.
A must-read for the Asian specialist as well as van Gulik’s many admirers among the general public.
||Wanderings of a Naturalist in India,
the Western Himalayas and Cashmere
by Andrew Leith Adams, MD
Second imprint 2018 (first edition 1867). 344 pp., 1 ill., index, 21.5 x 14.5 cm., softbound
ISBN-13: 974-524-113-8 Price to be announced.
A vivid and early account of the birds and animals, both wild and domesticated, insects and plants of the north India and the western Himalaya, as sighted by Adams in his various expeditions through these regions. The author, in addition, has a keen eye for the landscape through which he conducts us, as well as for fascinating anthropological detail about the indigenous human inhabitants.
Adams, an army physician, served with British forces in India and Kashmir, as well as in the Middle East and Canada, between 1848 and 1873; he was an avid student of natural history over the course of his postings. Following his retirement, he assumed a professorship of natural history at Trinity College, Dublin.