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Play, Symbolism, and Ritual

A Study of Tamil Brahmin Women's Rites of Passage


Vasumathi K. Duvvury

This study comprises an in-depth analysis of the world of south Indian rural and urban Tamil Brahmin Aiyar women - a world made up of oral, 'non-serious' rituals, where the various categories of women occupy very definite and often contrasting positions.
Women's rituals, since they are primarily non-scriptural, have hitherto received scant attention from scholars who have mainly been interested in the scriptural or Vedic tradition of India. Dealt with in two parts with illustrative case studies and photographs, this is probably the most comprehensive and systematic study available to date on Aiyar women and their rituals.