Casting Kings : Bards and Indian Modernity: Bards and Indian Modernity (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Oxford University Press, Jul 17, 2006 - Social Science - 256 pages
1 Review
Based on three years of fieldwork in the Indian state of Rajasthan, Casting Kingsexplores the way in which semi-nomadic performers known as Bhats understand, and also subvert, caste hierarchies. Bhats (literally, "Bards") now entertain a variety of sponsors - village patrons, foreign tourists, urban Rajasthanis, government officials, and development experts - with ballads and puppet plays detailing the exploits of Rajasthan's long-dead kings. In some cases, Bhats suggest that their historical knowledge and poetic skills have been inherited from royal ancestors who sang the praises and kept the genealogies of Rajasthan's former kings and princes. In other contexts, however, Bhats associate themselves with Dalits - a term reserved for India's former untouchables. As Jeffrey G. Snodgrass delves deeper into the complexities and contradictions of Bhat art and identity - methodically and often humorously peeling away layer after layer of deception to expose the manner in which Bhats use their legacy of bardic cunning to manipulate old and new patrons alike (the author among them) - the complexities and contradictions of modern India are likewise revealed.
  

What people are saying - Write a review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

prithviraj drank 60 kgs of milk daily. prithviraj had tremendous appetite.

Contents

Caste Fictions
3
Setting the Rajasthani Stage
41
Bhambhi Little Kings in the Economy of Bhat PraiseSinging
75
Composing Kings in Old and New Rajasthan
109
Bhat Admen in Modern Times
143
Making History
167
Poem Texts
175
Notes
181
Glossary
197
References
201
Index
215
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

Bibliographic information