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The Cult of Draupadi, Volume 2

On Hindu Ritual and the Goddess

This is the first volume of a projected three-volume work on the little-known South Indian folk cult of the goddess Draupadi and on the classical epic, the Mahabharata, that the cult brings to life in mythic, ritual, and dramatic forms. Draupadi, the chief heroine of the Sanskrit Mahabharata, takes on many unexpected guises in her Tamil cult, but her dimensions as a folk goddess remain rooted in a rich interpretive vision of the great epic. By examining the ways that the cult of Draupadi commingles traditions about the goddess and the epic, Alf Hiltebeitel shows the cult to be singularly representative of the inner tensions and working dynamics of popular devotional Hinduism.

556 pages | 38 halftones, 15 line drawings, 6 tables, 6 maps | 6 x 9 | © 1991

Anthropology: Cultural and Social Anthropology

Asian Studies: South Asia

Religion: Comparative Studies and History of Religion, South and East Asian Religions

Table of Contents

List of Maps and Figures
List of Plates
List of Tables
1. Introduction
2. Draupadi Temples and Their Ritual Officiants
3. The Ritual Cycle and the Temple Icons
4. Offering Souls
5. Flag Hoisting and Tying of Kappu
6. Posts, Altars, and Demon Devotees
7. Rituals of Battle
8. Patukalam Configurations: Arjuna’s Artifacts
9. Aravan’s Battlefield Sacrifice to Kali
10. Patukalam Sequences
11. Death and Revival
12. Thighs and Hair
13. Effigies and Forts
14. Timiti, the Firewalk
15. Closures
General Index
Index of Temple and Festival Sites

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