Listen to the Heron's Words Reimagining Gender and Kinship in North India
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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 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.
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List price: $31.95
Copyright year: 1994
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 4/29/1994
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 0.75" tall
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|