When The World Becomes Female: Guises Of A South Indian Goddess

Paperback | July 23, 2013

byJoyce Burkhalter Flueckiger

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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.

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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 Bur...

Joyce Burkhalter Flueckiger is Professor of Religion at Emory University. She is author of In Amma's Healing Room: Gender and Vernacular Islam in South India (IUP, 2009) and Gender and Genre in the Folklore of Middle India.

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When the World Becomes Female: Guises of a South Indian Goddess
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see all books by Joyce Burkhalter Flueckiger
Format:PaperbackDimensions:336 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.9 inPublished:July 23, 2013Publisher:Indiana University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0253009561

ISBN - 13:9780253009562

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments
Note on Transliteration

Introduction

Part 1. Imaginative Worlds of Gangamma
1. An Aesthetics of Excess
2. Guising, Transformation, Recognition, and Possibility
3. Narratives of Excess and Access
4. Female-Narrated Possibilities of Relationship
5. Gangamma as Ganga River Goddess

Part 2. Those Who Bear the Goddess
6. Wandering Goddess, Village Daughter: Avilala Reddys
7. Temple and Vesham Mirasi: The Kaikalas of Tirupati
8. The Goddess Served and Lost: Tattayagunta Mudaliars
9. Exchanging Talis with the Goddess: Protection and Freedom to Move
10. "Crazy for the Goddess": A Consuming Relationship

Conclusion: Possibilities of a World Become Female

Glossary
Notes
References
Index

Editorial Reviews

"[Joyce Flueckiger addresses] directly questions of the relationships between a goddess and her devotees, and the ways that those devotees play with gender." -H-Asia