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

Rethinking India's Oral and Classical Epics: Draupadi among Rajputs, Muslims, and Dalits By Alf Hiltebeitel Cover Image
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Description


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).

About the Author


Alf Hiltebeitel is a professor of religion and director of the Human Sciences Program at The George Washington University. He is the author or editor of numerous books including the two-volume Cult of Draupadi and Rethinking India’s Oral and Classical Epics, both published by the University of Chicago Press.


Product Details
ISBN: 9780226340517
ISBN-10: 0226340511
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication Date: May 1st, 1999
Pages: 574
Language: English
Series: Religion & Postmodernism S