Folktales in India have been told, heard, read and celebrated for many centuries. In breaking new ground, Indian folktales have been reread and examined in the light of the Mother Earth discourse as it manifests in the lifeworlds of women, nature and language. The book introduces ecofeminist criticism and situates it within an innovative folktale typology to connect women and environment through folklore. The book proposes an innovative paradigm inspired by the beehive to analyze motifs, relationships, concerns, worldviews and consciousness of indigenous women and men who live close to nature as well as other socially marginalized groups.
In the current global context fraught with challenges for ecology and hopes for sustainable development, this book with its interdisciplinary approach will interest scholars and researchers of literature, environmental studies, gender studies and cultural anthropology.
‘The selection of Indian folktales is very interesting and shows what a rich vein of knowledge is stored by ordinary (and some very extraordinary) people. Highly original is the classification of tales as: Isis Panthea, Amma-I-Appan, Her-Meta, Athena’s Wit, Annamangai, Sis-Tie, Woody-Woman, Vana-Devi, Tellus-Ma, Aqua-Stree, Aves-Eve and Fauna-Fem. Each of these classificatory names shows a sense of humour embedded in deep poetic and symbolic understanding of the mythic oral tradition. The author combines linguistic knowledge along with an understanding of the hidden mother lode of the story seam.’
Susan Hawthorne, Adjunct Professor, James Cook University, Australia
Preface Acknowledgement Introduction 1. Mother Earth Discourse 2. The Creator and the Created 3. Silences and Speech 4. Food, Household and Sisterhood 5. Trees and Forest 6. Land and Water 7. Birds and Animals Conclusion Glossary Bibliography Index