Duvvury, Vasumathi K.
Play, Symbolism, and Ritual
A Study of Tamil Brahmin Women's Rites of Passage
Year of Publication: 1991
New York, Bern, Frankfurt/M., Paris, 1991. X, 251 pp., 23 ill., 6 charts
ISBN 978-0-8204-1108-8 hardback (Hardcover)
Weight: 0.520 kg, 1.146 lbs
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This study comprises an in-depth analysis of the world of south Indian rural and urban Tamil Brahmin Aiyar women - a world made up of oral, 'non-serious' rituals, where the various categories of women occupy very definite and often contrasting positions.
Women's rituals, since they are primarily non-scriptural, have hitherto received scant attention from scholars who have mainly been interested in the scriptural or Vedic tradition of India. Dealt with in two parts with illustrative case studies and photographs, this is probably the most comprehensive and systematic study available to date on Aiyar women and their rituals.
About the author(s)/editor(s)
The Author: Vasumathi K. Duvvury received her B.A. (Hons) and M.A. in English from Bangalore University, India, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Anthropology from Rice University, Houston. Her areas of special interest in socio-cultural anthropology are: women's studies, anthropological study of play, symbolic anthropology, cognitive anthropology, south Asia, and ethnographic films. She has published papers on playful aspects of ritual and women's roles in India.
«...øthis! treatment of the major non-Vedic rituals of Tamil-speaking Brahmin (Aiyar) women sheds important new light on the practice of Hinduism in South India.» (Robert C. Lester, Journal of Ritual Studies)
American University Studies: Series 11, Anthropology/Sociology. Vol. 41