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Listen to the Heron's Words Reimagining Gender and Kinship in North India

ISBN-10: 0520083717
ISBN-13: 9780520083714
Edition: 1994
List price: $31.95 Buy it from $3.94
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Description: In many South Asian oral traditions, herons are viewed as duplicitous and conniving. These traditions tend also to view women as fragmented identities, dangerously split between virtue and virtuosity, between loyalties to their own families and  More...

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Book details

List price: $31.95
Copyright year: 1994
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 4/29/1994
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 272
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.034
Language: English

In many South Asian oral traditions, herons are viewed as duplicitous and conniving. These traditions tend also to view women as fragmented identities, dangerously split between virtue and virtuosity, between loyalties to their own families and those of their husbands. In women's songs, however, symbolic herons speak, telling of alternative moral perspectives shaped by women. The heron's words--and women's expressive genres more generally--criticize pervasive North Indian ideologies of gender and kinship that place women in subordinate positions. By inviting readers to "listen to the heron's words," the authors convey this shift in moral perspective and suggest that these spoken truths are compelling and consequential for the women in North India. The songs and narratives bear witness to a provocative cultural dissonance embedded in women's speech. This book reveals the power of these critical commentaries and the fluid and permeable boundaries between spoken words and the lives of ordinary village women.

Ann Grodzins Gold is Professor of Religion and Anthropology at Syracuse University.

List of Illustrations
Note on Transcription and Transliteration
Note on Kinship Terms
Preface: Listening to Women in Rural North India
Introduction: Gender Representation and the Problem of Language and Resistance in India
Sexuality, Fertility, and Erotic Imagination in Rajasthani Women's Songs
On the Uses of Irony and Ambiguity: Shifting Perspectives on Patriliny and Women's Ties to Natal Kin
On the Uses of Subversion: Redefining Conjugality
Devotional Power or Dangerous Magic? The Jungli Rani's Case
Purdah Is As Purdah's Kept: A Storyteller's Story
Conclusion: Some Reflections on Narrative Potency and the Politics of Women's Expressive Traditions
Appendix: Rajasthani and Hindi Song Texts
Glossary of Hindi and Rajasthani Words
Bibliography
Index

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