When the World Becomes Female: Guises of a South Indian Goddess (Paperback)Joyce Burkhalter Flueckiger (author)
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During the goddess Gangamma's festival in the town of Tirupati, lower-caste men take guises of the goddess, and the streets are filled with men wearing saris, braids, and female jewelry. By contrast, women participate by intensifying the rituals they perform for Gangamma throughout the year, such as cooking and offering food. Joyce Burkhalter Flueckiger argues that within the festival ultimate reality is imagined as female and women identify with the goddess, whose power they share. Vivid accounts by male and female participants offer new insights into Gangamma's traditions and the nature of Hindu village goddesses.
Publisher: Indiana University Press
Number of pages: 336
Weight: 28 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 23 mm
"Carefully crafted.... Through these rituals, stories and lives, the author reveals new ways of comprehending gender both at the cosmological and human level." -Ann Grodzins Gold, Syracuse University
"Flueckiger's rich and colorful descriptions of the stories, festivals, and worshipers connected with the goddess Gangamma evoke a world that previously had been accessible to very few living outside southern India. This work makes available to readers a close-up view of an extremely fascinating aspect of living Hinduism." -David L. Haberman, Indiana University, author of Journey through the Twelve Forests: An Encounter with Krishna
"This is a carefully crafted ethnography on the South Indian festival of the village goddess Gangamma in the pilgrimage town of Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh.... Recommended." -Choice
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