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Ramkatha in Narrative, Performance and Pictorial Traditions

Molly Kaushal (Editor) Alok Bhalla (Editor) Ramakar Pant (Editor)

Transmission, mobility, adaptation and concrete expression of the Rama theme among different communities and regions in India and outside is the finest example of the power of the ‘oral word’ that transcends all boundaries, be they geographic, temporal, social or literary. It provides for plurality, diversity and continuity of the tradition transcending the rigid boundaries of the text to flow in multiple streams and directions meeting with tributaries and rivulets along the way. In order to explore, understand and comprehend this living and vibrant Rama tradition in Indian culture, the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, in 2008, convened an international conference Ramkatha: Ankan, Manchan aur Vaachan under its ongoing project, Living Traditions of Ramkatha and Mahabharata. The present volume consists of select papers presented in this conference along with others that were specially invited from eminent scholars in the field.

The papers here range from textual to oral, performance and pictorial renderings of Rama theme both in traditional and contemporary contexts, covering a large geographic area and diverse communities. For example, Bhil Ram Sitama ni Varta, Kunkana Ramkatha, Gond Ramayani, Rama traditions among the Ramnamis of Chhattisgarh, Ramman of Garhwal, Bundeli Ramkatha, Mewati Ramkatha and Ramkatha traditions among the Khasis, to name a few. The volume also contains essays on traditional and modern presentations of Rama theme in Southeast Asia.

The volume is broadly organised under four themes: sacred geography; narrative; performance; and pictorial traditions. However, several of them overlap and flow into one another. The book is further divided into two sections: the first contains papers in English and the second in Hindi.

This book is a significant addition to the existing literature on Ramayana and Ramkatha traditions and of great value to scholars of Indian culture, folklorists, anthropologists and Indologists.

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About the author

Alok Bhalla

Alok Bhalla is Professor of English Literature at the Central Institute of English and Foreign Languages, Hyderabad, and has published extensively on literature and politics. He has translated Dharamvir Bharati's play, Andha Yug (OUP 2005) and Intizar Husain's stories, A chronicle of the Peacocks (OUP 2002). He has also edited Stories about the Partition of India (3 Volumes) and Life and Works of Saadat Hasan Manto.

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Bibliographic information

Title Ramkatha in Narrative, Performance and Pictorial Traditions
Format Hardcover
Date published: 03.02.2015
Edition 1st. ed.
Language: English
isbn 9788173054716
length xxxviii+348p., Colour; Illustrations 124; 17cm x 22cm.