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The Needle and the Sword: boatmen, priests and the ritual economy of Varanasi

Doron, Assa


Varanasi, a place on the banks of the sacred River Ganges, is one of the holiest cities of India. This paper examines a post-wedding river ritual wherein a seemingly mundane activity like boating is turned into a sacred event. An attempt is made to re-examine the influential organizing ideas of domination and hierarchy with attention to how the subaltern boatmen ingeniously subvert their assigned position as 'the dominated' thus interrupting the traditional priestly order. It is shown how the...[Show more]

CollectionsANU Research Publications
Date published: 2006
Type: Journal article
Source: South Asia-Journal of South Asia Studies
DOI: 10.1080/00856400601031955


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