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Chanted Narratives

The Living Katha-Vachana Tradition

Every region/community of the world has its sahre of oral creativity, in varying measures though. And, accordingly, has its own legacy of 'chanted narratives': epical, hostorical, mythical, romantic, or even below

About This Book

Every region/community of the world has its sahre of oral creativity, in varying measures though. And, accordingly, has its own legacy of 'chanted narratives': epical, hostorical, mythical, romantic, or even ritualistic. Which have long survived in the collective memory of its people, having been handed down from generation to generation. Confronted, however, by the 'cornucopian techno-centrism' of today's life, these oral narratives are on their way out everywhere -- like many other vibrant cultural phenomena.


Highlighting why we need to preserve this intangible heritage of mankind, the volume offers a fascinating study of 'chanted narratives' from different regions of India and parts of Southeast Asia. Essentially a multi-author work, it explores the nature of orality and its various attendent aspects, like composition, performance, transmission modes, socio-economic context, and the relationship that exists between its performer and the audience. Also addressing methodological issues concerning the existing definitions and terminologies, the authors argue for a paradigm shift in the academic discourse on orality and oral cultures.


Carrying twenty four contributors of leading scholars from France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Nepal, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and UK, the book not only provides theoretical insights into the complex nature of orality, but sets out a rich repertoire of chanted narratives as well.


Folklorists, anthropologists, historians and scholars of Indian cultures will find it a useful acquisition.

  • Foreword By :
  • Binding: : Hardbound
  • 13 Digit ISBN : 9788124601822
  • 10 Digit ISBN : 8124601828
  • Edition : 1st edition
  • Year : 2001
  • Pages : vii, 290 p.
  • Bibliographic Details : B/w & coloured photographs
  • Size : 25 cm
  • Weight (approx.) : 900 gm


-- Molly Kaushal

Part I
Nature of Orality and Methods of Transmission

1. Orality and its Complexity

-- Baidyanath Saraswati

2. The World of Orality

-- Nicole Revel

3. Saveen: Singers and Performance Context

-- Molly Kaushal

4. The Transmission of Bhojpuri Epics towards Nepal and Bengal: Oral Performance and Selling of Chapbooks Editions

-- Catherine Servan-Schreiber

5. The Manipuri Folk Epic Khamba-Thoibi: Origin, Growth, Transmission, and Customary Laws

-- S. Sanatombi

Part II
Composition and Socio-Economic Context

6. Mopin Myth: An Ecological Epic

-- A.K.Das

7. The Golden Vine: Chanted Narratives from the Land of the Seven Huts

-- Desmond L. Kharmawphlang

8. The Dayak Epics of Second Burial

-- KMA M. Usop

9. The Tamil Epic: Mathurai Veeraswami Kathai

-- Sheila Asivratham

10. Oral Epics in Kalahandi

-- Mahendra Kumar Mishra

11. Scroll Narratives of Andhra Pradesh

-- Bittu Venkateswarlu

12. Burrakatha: A Telugu Folk Narrative of Andhra Pradesh in History and Performance

-- Daniel Negers

13. The Hero and His Context: The Oral Narrative of Kaba and Baji

-- Ajay Dandekar

14. The Ambivalence of Power: Representations of Women in the Oral Epic of Devnarayan

-- Aditya Malik

Part III
Performers, Performance, and Audience

15. The Pandav Lila of Uttarakhand

-- William S. Sax

16. Pandava Dance: A Performance for Life

-- Richa Negi

17. Loriki and its Singers

-- S.M. Pandey

18. Rajula Malushahi: The Oral Epic (Ballad) of Kumaon

-- Mohan Upreti

19. The Role of Audience in Balochi Sher Singing

-- Sabir Badalkhan

20. Verbal Narratives: Performance and Gender of the Padma Purana

-- Nabin Chandra Sarma

21. Gender, Genre and Narrative: Case of Junjappa Epic

-- T.N. Shankaranarayana

22. Performance Situation of the Khamba-Thoibi Folk Epic

-- M. Mani Meitei

Part IV
Regional and Cultural Dimensions

23. Nepali Oral Epic: Ramayana

-- C.M. Bandhu

24. Important Locations (Villages) and Verbal Narratives Associated with Princess Sita in  the Central Hills of Sri Lanka

-- H.M.D.R. Herath

List of Contributors


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