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Schuler, Barbara
Of Death and Birth
Icakkiyamman, a Tamil Goddess, in Ritual and Story With a Film on DVD by the Author
series:
volume: 8
pages/dimensions: XIV, 501 pages
language: English
binding: 1 × Book (Hardback),
1 × DVD-ROM
dimensions: 21.00 × 29.70 cm
publishing date: 05.01.2009
prices: 98,00 Eur[D] / 100,80 Eur[A]
ISBN: 978-3-447-05844-5
98,00 Eur

Scholars of popular Hindu religion in India have always been fascinated by oral texts and rituals, but surprisingly only few attempts have as yet been made to analyse the relationship between rituals and texts systematically. This book contributes to the filling of this gap. Focusing on the dynamics of a local (non-Brahmanical) ritual, its modular organisation and inner logic, the interaction between narrative text and ritual, and the significance of the local versus translocal nature of the text in the ritual context, the study provides a broad range of issues for comparison. It demonstrates that examining texts in their context helps to understand better the complexity of religious traditions and the way in which ritual and text are programmatically employed. The author offers a vivid description of a hitherto unnoticed ritual system, along with the first translation of a text called the Icakkiyamman-Katai (IK). Composed in the Tamil language, the IK represents a substantially longer and embellished form of a core versio which probably goes as far back as the seventh century C.E. Unlike the classical source, this text has been incorporated into a living tradition, and is being constantly refashioned. A range of text versions have been encapsulated in the form of a conspectus, which will shed light on the text’s variability or fixity and will add to our knowledge of bardic creativity.

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