Rethinking India's Oral and Classical Epics: Draupadi among Rajputs, Muslims, and Dalits (Google eBook)

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University of Chicago Press, Feb 15, 2009 - Religion - 574 pages
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Throughout India and Southeast Asia, ancient classical epics—the Mahabharata and the Ramayana—continue to exert considerable cultural influence. Rethinking India's Oral and Classical Epics offers an unprecedented exploration into South Asia's regional epic traditions.

Using his own fieldwork as a starting point, Alf Hiltebeitel analyzes how the oral tradition of the south Indian cult of the goddess Draupadi and five regional martial oral epics compare with one another and tie in with the Sanskrit epics. Drawing on literary theory and cultural studies, he reveals the shared subtexts of the Draupadi cult Mahabharata and the five oral epics, and shows how the traditional plots are twisted and classical characters reshaped to reflect local history and religion. In doing so, Hiltebeitel sheds new light on the intertwining oral traditions of medieval Rajput military culture, Dalits ("former Untouchables"), and Muslims.

Breathtaking in scope, this work is indispensable for those seeking a deeper understanding of South Asia's Hindu and Muslim traditions.

This work is the third volume in Hiltebeitel's study of the Draupadi cult. Other volumes include Mythologies: From Gingee to Kuruksetra (Volume One), On Hindu Ritual and the Goddess (Volume Two), and Rethinking the Mahabharata (Volume Four).
  

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Interesting book on Oral epic

Contents

1 Introduction
1
2 Oral Epics
11
3 The Elder Brothers and the Heroes of Palnadu
48
4 The Epic of Pabuji
88
5 Opening Alha
121
6 The NineLakh Chain
153
7 The Story of Krsnamsa
211
8 Kuruksetra II
240
10 Their Name Is Legion
297
11 The Ballad of Raja Desing
364
Furthering the Case of the Severed Head
414
13 The Myth of the Agnivamsa
439
14 Draupadi Becomes Bela Bela Becomes Sati
476
Abbreviations
513
Bibliography
515
General Index
543

9 TimeRoutes through the Krsnamsacarita
263

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About the author (2009)

ALF HILTEBEITEL is Professor of Religion and Director of the Human Sciences Program at George Washington University. His books include Rethinking India's Oral and Classical Epics: Draupad.

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