Book

Casting Kings

Jeffrey G. Snodgrass

Published in print August 2006 | ISBN: 9780195304343
Published online September 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199785063 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195304349.001.0001
Casting Kings

Show Summary Details

Preview

Based on three years of anthropological fieldwork in the Indian state of Rajasthan, this book explores the manner that semi-nomadic performers known as Bhats understand and also subvert caste hierarchies. A number of scholars have recently contended that caste is invented and thus a fiction of a kind. Focus in these studies, however, is typically placed on the way that caste is imagined according to the agendas and desires of elite Westerners such as colonial officials. By contrast, this book argues that Bhats themselves understand the imaginative dimensions of caste relations. It focuses on the way that Bhats (literally, “Bards”) now entertain a variety of contemporary sponsors — village patrons, foreign and domestic tourists, urban elites, government officials, development experts, and Hindu nationalists — with ballads, epics, and puppet plays detailing the exploits of Rajasthan’s long-dead kings and heroes. As the book delves deeper into the complexities and contradictions of Bhat art, identity, and political resistance, the complexities and contradictions of modern India are likewise revealed.

Keywords: caste; India; bards; anthropology; tradition; performance; narrative; oral literature; oral epics; resistance

Book.  240 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Hinduism

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »


Table of Contents

Introduction in Casting Kings

Chapter

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Cast of Characters in Casting Kings

Chapter

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Obscene Jesters in Casting Kings

Chapter

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Venture Funambulists in Casting Kings

Chapter

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Conclusion in Casting Kings

Chapter

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.