Maithil Women’s Tales: Storytelling on the Nepal-India - download pdf or read online

By Coralynn V. Davis

Constrained via traditions limiting their events and speech, the Maithil ladies of Nepal and India have lengthy explored person and collective existence stories through sharing tales with each other. occasionally fantastical, occasionally together with a type of magical realism, those stories permit ladies to construct group via a deeply own and continually evolving storytelling form.
In Maithil Women’s Tales, Coralynn V. Davis examines how those storytellers weave jointly their very own lifestyles experiences--the hardships and the pleasures--with age-old issues. In so doing, Davis demonstrates, they harness people traditions to grapple in my opinion in addition to jointly with social values, behavioral mores, relationships, and cosmological questions.
every one bankruptcy comprises tales and excerpts that demonstrate Maithil women’s reward for wealthy language, layered plots, and attractive allegory. additionally, Davis presents ethnographic and private details that exhibit the complexity of women’s personal lives, and contains works painted via Maithil storytellers to demonstrate their stories. the result's a desirable research of being and turning into that would resonate for readers in women’s and Hindu reports, folklore, and anthropology.

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Extra info for Maithil Women’s Tales: Storytelling on the Nepal-India Border

Example text

Thinking, “The king will skin me alive if I divulge this matter to any other person,” the barber told it instead to a drum [ḍhol] that happened to be hanging nearby. Later, a cobbler [chamār] went to beat the drum, and the drum itself rang out: “The king has two horns on his head! ” Well, upon hearing this pronouncement, the infuriated king smashed the drum to pieces and tossed it away, inadvertently throwing it into a tree. The drum told the story to the tree. ” As news spread of the king’s horns, a great commotion ensued, and people started repeating the story person to person throughout the kingdom.

Because gender is a central axis of social stratification (tightly woven with kinship, caste, and also class); because constraints on speech are heavily structured through kinship for women; and because power is measurable in terms of whose stories are heard, these features of social life must be mapped carefully in order to comprehend Maithil women’s storytelling practices and the stories’ narrative content. the irrepressibility o f sto ries 31 A central element in the gendering of South Asian folklore is the distinction between women’s and men’s lives, particularly the restrictions on women’s speech and movement enforced through practices of purdah (explained in the introduction) and the related fact that women’s ritual and leisure activities are undertaken largely without men.

What can I say? When you take your pain out of the house, only then does it come out. Otherwise it is sorrow or happiness. ’ That was my time in happiness. Now it is the time of misfortune. What can I do? ’ In my childhood, as much water as others drank, I drank that much milk; I lacked for nothing. ” Sukumariya Devi conceptually framed this narrative of her life in the metaphysical notion portrayed in the King Nal Tale (presented in this chapter) that life is characterized by periods of sukha and dukha, and she reported that her community members also viewed her life trajectory in this light.

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