Casting Kings: Bards and Indian Modernity

Front Cover
Oxford University Press, Aug 10, 2006 - Social Science - 256 pages
1 Review
Based on three years of anthropological fieldwork in the Indian state of Rajasthan, Casting Kings explores the manner in which semi-nomadic performers known as Bhats understand, and also subvert, caste hierarchies. A number of scholars have recently contended that caste is invented and thus a fiction of a kind. But focus in these studies is typically placed on the way caste is imagined according to the agendas and desires of elite Westerners such as colonial officials. In this book, by contrast, the author argues that Bhats themselves understand the imaginative dimensions of caste relations. Indeed, such insights are shown to lie at the heart of the Bhats traditional profession of praise- and insult-singing. Likewise, the author demonstrates how the ability to cleverly rework and even sabotage lingering caste inequalities continues to form the basis for Bhat claims to status and dignity in contemporary India.
 

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

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2006)

Jeffrey G. Snodgrass, Associate Professor of Anthropology at Colorado State University, has published widely on caste, ritual performance, spirit possession, and religious healing in India. He is the recipient of grants from the American Institute of Indian Studies, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Science Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, and most recently the National Geographic Society. He is currently examining how the health and healing practices of Tribal communities in southern Rajasthan are being impacted by environmental change in the form of deforestation.

Bibliographic information