Pastoralist traditions have long been extraordinarily important to the social, economic, political, and cultural life of the region of western India called Maharashtra. The Marathi-language oral literature of the Dhangar shepherds of Maharashtra is not only one of the most important elementsof their own traditional cultural life, but also a treasure of world literature. This volume presents two lively and well-crafted examples of the ovi, a genre typical of the oral literature of Dhangars. The two ovis in the volume narrate the stories of Biroba and Dhuloba, two of the most importantgods of Dhangar shepherds. Each of the ovis tells an elaborate story of the birth of the god - a miraculous and complicated process in both cases - and of the struggles each one goes through in order to find and win his bride. The extensive introduction provides a literary analysis of the ovis anddiscusses what they reveal about the cosmology, geography, society, administrative structures, and economy of their performers' world, and about the performers views of pastoralistsand women.