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Kamakhya

A Socio Cultural Study by: Nihar Ranjan Mishra

This is a comprehensive work on the Kamakhya temple complex in Assam: the complex processes of the deity’s Sanskritization and the temple’s role in integrating the people of this region with the mainland. It makes a detailed study of the temple rituals, festivals and personnel and socio-cultural life and includes an account on spread of Saktism in the region.

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Details

ISBN: 9788124602515
Year Of Publication: 2019
Edition: 2nd
Pages : xx, 220
Bibliographic Details : 2 Maps; 8 B/w photographs; 76 Col. illustrations; Appendix; Glossary; Bibliography; Index
Language : English
Binding : Hardcover
Publisher: D.K. Printworld Pvt. Ltd.
Size: 25 cm.
Weight: 750

Overview

This is a comprehensive work on the Kamakhya temple complex in Assam: the complex processes of the deity’s sanskritization and the temple’s role in integrating the people of this region with the mainland. Incorporating details from interviews with temple priests and other temple staff and from literary materials on the temple, it deals with the socio-cultural life at the temple complex with respect to rites of passage relating to marriage, birth and death, arts and crafts, food, dress and folk medicine. With illustrations of the temple structure and sculptures and religious and cultural activities, the text makes a detailed study of the temple rituals, festivals and personnel — their kinds and functions and changes in the body of the temple staff with time. Importantly, it provides a background to the study by examining the spread of shaktism over different periods in the Eastern Indian region and specifically Assam.

Contents

Preface
1. Shaktism in India with Special Reference to Assam
General Overview of Shaktism in India
Shaktism in Assam
Shaktism in Ancient Period
Shaktism in Medieval Period
Current Beliefs and Practices
Worship of Female Deities in Assam
Mother Goddesses of Different Ethnic Affiliations
Tantrism and the Vaishnavites of Assam
Shakta Tamples in Assam
Shakta Literature in Assam
The Shrine of Kamakhya at Present
2. The Process of Sanskritization: The Case of Kamakhya
Meaning of Sanskritization
Sanskritization and the Origin of Goddess Kamakhya
Sanskritization and Re-Christening of Goddess Kamakhya
Sanskritization and Puja Rituals of Goddess Kamakhya
Sanskritization as Reflected in Literature
Sanskritization and Religion
Sanskritization and Assamese Language
Sanskritization and Caste Formation
3. Rituals and Festivals in the Kamakhya Temple Complex
Rituals and Festivals : Nature and Significance
Rituals and Festivals Observed in the Kamakhya Temple
Rituals and Festivals Observed by the People
4. Temple Personnel: Their Functions and Sociological Significance
Brahmana Personnel and their Functions
Non-Brahmana Personnel and their Functions
Personnel of Adjacent Temples
Change in the Body of Kamakhya Temple Personnel and its Sociological Significance
5. Socio-Cultural Life in the temple Complex
The Family
Familial Relationships
Rites de Passage
Beliefs and Taboos during Pregnancy
Rites During Pregnancy
Birth of the Child
Rites Following the Birth of a Child
Puberty Rites
Marriage
Antyesti Samskara
Food and Drinks
Dress
Social Stratification
Sources of Livelihood
Traditional Games and Theatrical Performances
Folk Medicine
Social Change in the Complex
6. Oral Literature
Nature of Oral Literature
Songs
Prose Narratives
7. Arts and Crafts
Pottery
Cakeli
Kata
Kathiacaru
Malai
Khandamalai
Gaca
Thuku
Bhetua
Nag
Carpentry
Bamboo Items
Temple Architecture
Sculptures
8. Summary and Conclusion
Illustrations
Appendix – Specimen of Oral Literature
Glossary
Bibliography
Index

Meet the Author
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Dr. Nihar Ranjan Mishra (Ph.D.) has keen interest in exploring the significance of religious/cultural sites in India. He is currently senior lecturer in the English Department, Mangaldai College, Assam.
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Kamakhya 2019