Contradictory Lives: Baul Women in India and Bangladesh

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9780199773541: Contradictory Lives: Baul Women in India and Bangladesh
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The dominant tropes imagined for the Baul tradition of eastern India and Bangladesh are constructed around male models: the wandering mistrel carrying his ektara instrument who engages in esoteric ritual practices. Lisa Knight's sensitive ethnography, however, fills in the significant lacunae of the lives and practices of Baul women. She artfully analyzes the ways in which these women bridge the contradictory expectations of Baul traditions as 'wanderers' and those of the non-Baul communities as respectable, settled Bengali householders. This study will significantly impact the ways in which readers understand Baul traditions, asceticism, boundaries of religious identities, and women's agency and performance in South Asia. (Joyce Burkhalter Flueckiger, author of In Amma's Healing Room: Gender & Vernacular Islam in South India.)

Reseña del editor:

In literature and popular imagination, Bauls of India and Bangladesh are characterized as musical mystics: orange-clad nomads of both Hindu and Muslim backgrounds. They wander the countryside and entertain with their passionate singing and unusual behavior; they are especially well-known for their evocative songs, which challenge the caste system and sectarianism prevalent in South Asia.

Although Bauls claim to value women over men, little is known about the views and experiences of Baul women. Based on ethnographic research in both the predominantly Hindu context of West Bengal (India) and the Muslim country of Bangladesh, this book explores the everyday lives of Baul women. Knight examines the contradictory expectations regarding Baul women-on the one hand the ideal of a group unencumbered by societal restraints and concerns, and on the other the real constrains of feminine respectability that seemingly curtail women's mobility and public performances.

Knight demonstrates that Baul women respond to these conflicting expectations in various ways, sometimes adopting and other times subverting local gendered norms to craft a meaningful life. More so than their male counterparts, Baul women feel encumbered by norms. Rather than seeing Baul women's normative behavior as indicative of their conformity to gendered roles (and, therefore, failure as Bauls), Knight argues that these women creatively draw on societal expectations to transcend their social limits and create new paths.

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9780199396849: Contradictory Lives: Baul Women in India and Bangladesh

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ISBN 10:  0199396841 ISBN 13:  9780199396849
Editorial: OUP USA, 2014
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Descripción Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2011. Hardback. Condición: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.In literature and popular imagination, Bauls of India and Bangladesh are characterized as musical mystics: orange-clad nomads of both Hindu and Muslim backgrounds. They wander the countryside and entertain with their passionate singing and unusual behavior; they are especially well-known for their evocative songs, which challenge the caste system and sectarianism prevalent in South Asia. Although Bauls claim to value women over men, little is known about the views and experiences of Baul women. Based on ethnographic research in both the predominantly Hindu context of West Bengal (India) and the Muslim country of Bangladesh, this book explores the everyday lives of Baul women. Knight examines the contradictory expectations regarding Baul women-on the one hand the ideal of a group unencumbered by societal restraints and concerns, and on the other the real constrains of feminine respectability that seemingly curtail women s mobility and public performances. Knight demonstrates that Baul women respond to these conflicting expectations in various ways, sometimes adopting and other times subverting local gendered norms to craft a meaningful life. More so than their male counterparts, Baul women feel encumbered by norms. Rather than seeing Baul women s normative behavior as indicative of their conformity to gendered roles (and, therefore, failure as Bauls), Knight argues that these women creatively draw on societal expectations to transcend their social limits and create new paths. Nº de ref. del artículo: APC9780199773541

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Descripción Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2011. Hardback. Condición: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. In literature and popular imagination, Bauls of India and Bangladesh are characterized as musical mystics: orange-clad nomads of both Hindu and Muslim backgrounds. They wander the countryside and entertain with their passionate singing and unusual behavior; they are especially well-known for their evocative songs, which challenge the caste system and sectarianism prevalent in South Asia. Although Bauls claim to value women over men, little is known about the views and experiences of Baul women. Based on ethnographic research in both the predominantly Hindu context of West Bengal (India) and the Muslim country of Bangladesh, this book explores the everyday lives of Baul women. Knight examines the contradictory expectations regarding Baul women-on the one hand the ideal of a group unencumbered by societal restraints and concerns, and on the other the real constrains of feminine respectability that seemingly curtail women s mobility and public performances. Knight demonstrates that Baul women respond to these conflicting expectations in various ways, sometimes adopting and other times subverting local gendered norms to craft a meaningful life. More so than their male counterparts, Baul women feel encumbered by norms. Rather than seeing Baul women s normative behavior as indicative of their conformity to gendered roles (and, therefore, failure as Bauls), Knight argues that these women creatively draw on societal expectations to transcend their social limits and create new paths. Nº de ref. del artículo: APC9780199773541

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Lisa I.Knight
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