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Chanted Narratives

The Living ‘Katha-Vachana’ Tradition by: Molly Kaushal

The volume offers a fascinating study of ‘chanted narratives’ from different regions of India and parts of Southeast Asia. It explores the nature of orality and its various attendant aspects, like composition, performance, transmission modes, socio-economic context, and the relationship that exists between its performer and the audience.

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ISBN: 9788124601822
Year Of Publication: 2001
Edition: 1st
Pages : vii, 290
Bibliographic Details : B/w & coloured photographs
Language : English
Binding : Hardcover
Publisher: D.K. Printworld Pvt. Ltd.
Size: 25 cm.
Weight: 900

Overview

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.

Contents

Introduction – 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
Visuals
List of Contributors

Meet the Author
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Molly Kaushal is Professor, Performance Studies at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA), New Delhi and heads the Janapada Sampada Division of the Centre. She is the Academic Director and Principal Investigator of IGNCA’s project on “Living Traditions of the Ramkatha and Mahabharata”. Her edited and co-edited works include, Chanted Narratives : The Living Katha Vachana Tradition; Folklore, Public Sphere and Civil Society; Journeys, Heroes, Pilgrims, Explorers; The Word and its Resonance: Bhagat Bani in Sri Guru Granth Sahib; and Ramkatha in Narrative, Performance and Pictorial Traditions. She has also published DVDs with English translations of Mewati, Bhili, and Bundeli Ramkathas. “Leela in Kheriya”, a film directed and scripted by her, is widely acclaimed nationally and internationally. She has curated several thematic exhibitions including “Sacred Geography and Aesthetic Expressions” and “Leela”, based on the Mahabharata and Ramayana traditions, respectively.
Books of Molly Kaushal