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Gods, Men and Women

Gender and Sexuality in Early Indian Art

The book is an exploration of ancient Indian art from the perspective of gender. It focuses on the period from 181 BCE to CE 320 — a period of great turmoil in the politico-economic, socio-cultural and religious spheres that gave rise to contesting ideologies....read below

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About This Book

The book is an exploration of ancient Indian art from the perspective of gender. It focuses on the period from 181 BCE to CE 320 — a period of great turmoil in the politico-economic, socio-cultural and religious spheres that gave rise to contesting ideologies and gender complexities in ancient India. It delves into the development of engendered representation in art, with the emergence of aesthetic and sexual archetypes and stereotypes of women: goddesses, mothers, wives, nuns, semi-divine yaksis, ogresses and others. It examines the nature of the stereotypes and archetypes that were constructed on the basis of gender roles rather than on sex and how these were reflected by various attributes of the representations — nudity or its absence, ornamentation, gestures, direction of gaze and context. It gives interesting insights into the intention, agency and patronage patterns in early Indian art.
The volume with its scholarly approach, providing fresh insights into early Indian art, will prove useful to scholars, students and researchers of Indian art and history alongwith the cognoscenti.

  • Foreword By :
  • Binding: : Hardbound
  • 13 Digit ISBN : 9788124606643
  • 10 Digit ISBN : 8124606641
  • Edition : 1st Edition
  • Year : 2013
  • Pages : xxiv, 416p.
  • Bibliographic Details : 268 coloured & b/w photos; Bibliography; Index
  • Size : 29 cm
  • Weight (approx.) : 2150 gm

Preface    
Acknowledgements        
Key to Transliteration    
Abbreviations    
List of Plates
    
Introduction    
1. Gender and Art : Paradigms and Problematics

Sex-Gender    
Strisvabhava-Stridharma    
Beautiful Women and Self-Controlled Men    
The Body: Spiritual and Physical    
The Body and Salvation    
Nakedness     
The Provocative Body    
Fertility    
Time, Transformation and the Image  

2. The Essential, Reproductive Woman 

Lajja Gauri            
From Aditi/Lakshmi to Dugdhadharini  

3. Mothers: Child Producers, Child Rearers and Protectors

Mayadevi: Buddha’s Mother        
Hariti    
Matrikas        
Shasthi        
Naigamesha and Naigameshi        
Malignant Goddess    
Conclusions  

4. Lovers, Married Couples and Wives 

The Ubiquitous Couple    
Sculptural Traditions    
Meanings and Interpretations    
Married Couple: Dampati    
A Specific Couple: Sundari and Nanda    
Wives in Narrative Episodes    
Bad Wives    
Good Wives  

5. The Non-Wives : Nuns and Prostitutes 

The Nun and the Prostitute    
The Nun    
Courtesan Ganika  

6. Yakshi-Shalabhanjika: Cultic and Architectural Motif  

Yaksha: Nature and Worship     
Yakshis    
Shalabhanjika and the Dohada Imagery    
Context: Architectural Elements    
Shalabhanjika and Eroticism    
Fertility, Fertilisation and the Feminine    

7. Mara’s Daughters, Apsarases and Ogresses: Strategies of Evil, Seduction and Temptation

Mara’s Daughters and the Temptation of Buddha    
Apsarases    
Ogresses/Yakshis

Conclusion    
Appendix    
Bibliography    
Index
            
 

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