Oral Traditions in South India
Essays on Tulu Oral Epics
Edited by Brückner, Heidrun / Rai, B. A. Viveka
|pages/dimensions: ||XI, 184 pages, 1 ill., 1 table - 24 × 17 cm|
|binding: ||Einband - flex.(Paperback)|
|publishing date: ||19.07.2017|
|prices: ||38,00 Eur[D] / 39,10 Eur[A]|
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The present volume studies three oral epic traditions in Tulu language (one of the Dravidian languages), which are living traditions in the Tulu speaking coastal districts of Karnataka up to the present day. They belong to the indigenous Tulu genre called pāḍdana, which ranges from shorter invocatory texts of the local deities to texts of epic dimensions. Because pāḍdanas had been transmitted exclusively orally until the 19th century, it is very difficult to assign their composition to a particular historical period. The social universe described in some of them may reflect a late medieval setting. Texts of one of the epic traditions have been collected over a period of almost 150 years, from the mid-19th century to the early 2000s.
For the first time, Indian, European and American scholars working on Tulu oral epics, folklorists, anthropologists as well as Indologists are brought together in this volume. Two papers in this volume are devoted to the story of the heroic twins, Kōṭi and Cennaya (Brückner and Rai; Nandavara), three to the Siri tradition with its strong focus on women (Gowda; Alva; Schuster-Löhlau) and one to the epic of Kōḍdabbu, a Dalit hero with supernatural powers (Claus). The wealth of texts and versions reflected allows to make systematic comparisons between different texts of the same tradition as well as between narrative elements and cultural concepts found in different traditions. Linguistic analysis, too, is just beginning to reveal possibly unique textual and narrative features.