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This book is the first to present current scholarship on gender and in regional and sectarian versions of the Ramaya?a. Contributors explore in what ways the versions relate to other Ramaya?a texts as they deal with the female persona and the cultural values implicit in them. Using a wide variety of approaches, both analytical and descriptive, the authors discover common ground between narrative variants even as their diversity is recognized.
It offers an analysis in the shaping of the heterogeneous Rama tradition through time as it can be viewed from the perspective of narrating women's lives. Through the analysis of the representation and treatment of female characters, narrative inventions, structural design, textual variants, and the idiom of composition and technique in art and sculpture are revealed and it is shown what and in which way these alternative versions are unique.
A sophisticated exploration of the Ramaya?a, this book is of great interest to academics in the fields of South Asian Studies, Asian Religion, Asian Gender and Cultural Studies.