Essays on North Indian Folk Traditions
Susan S. Wadley
140 x 216 mm
Year of Publishing
Territorial Rights
D C Publishers

Out Of Stock


The study of the folk traditions of South Asia has increased significantly in the past thirty years as anthropologists and folklorists explored the varied folk and oral traditions of India. These explorations have uncovered Western and Indian scholars, as well as offered new perceptions of issues of caste, gender and religion in India.

This volume brings together the papers of Susan S. Wadley whose work has been highly influential in this field. The study of folk traditions provides a critical look at the accepted, largely high caste male-authored views of Hinduism and society in India. Using materials primarily from the village known as Karimpur, in western Uttar Pradesh, the essays included here range from an examination of a rural ritual of snake possession, as well as stories that challenge its validity, to the interplay between the participants in understanding 'texts' and the world views that are elaborated in those texts. Some of the essays examine issues of performance, and the aesthetics of performance, while others focus on the content and the unstated contestations of classic Hinduism that are contained in stories and songs still current in western Uttar Pradesh.

Susan S. Wadley is Ford Maxwell Professor of South Asian Studies at Syracuse University, where she is also Director of the South Asia Center and Associate Dean in the College of Arts and Sciences. She began her work on the folk traditions of India in the late 1960s as a doctoral student in a village in western Uttar Pradesh known as Karimpur, made famous in the classic Behind Mud Walls by William and Charlotte Wiser. Her publications include Shakti: Power in the Conceptual Structure of Karimpur Religion; Struggling with Destiny in Karimpur; 1925-1984 and Raja Nal and the Goddess: The North Indian Oral Epic Dhola. She is co-editor of Oral Epics in India as well as Media and Transformation of Religion in South Asia. Currently, she is engaged in a project examining the effects of globalization on Karimpur, focusing especially on issues of migration and consumption, as well as changing gender roles.
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