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Hume’s Stray Feathers

July 2012


Allan Octavian Hume (1829-1912), British administrator and one of the founders of the Indian National Congress, recorded an extraordinary story of resilience, the ability of people to cope with disruptions.

Hume was a respected ornithologist. In January 1875 he boarded an old gunboat fitted for the Indian Marine Survey to explore the Laccadive archipelago (Lakshadweep), India’s only coral reefs with atoll formation. Hume’s detailed records of the animals, (in particular birds), geography and people constituted the first research expedition to the islands and submerged reefs.


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