In this book, six anthropologists pool their knowledge of the three ancient Newar cities of Kathmandu, Lalitpur, and Bhaktapur, and of other settlements nearby. The social institutions of all the main caste groups--priests, patrons, artisans, farmers, and low castes--are given extended consideration, and the study is framed by a historical introduction and a comparative conclusion. In addition, it is well illustrated with fascinating black and white photos which have been specially taken to illustrate aspects of the society under study. The result is the most complete description and analysis yet of a regional caste system. The book should appeal not only to students of Hinduism and South Asia, but to all anthropologists and comparative sociologists interested in the interrelations of politics, ritual, kinship, economy, and ideology in complex, pre-industrial societies.