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Oral Traditions and Folklore

(12,673 words)

Author(s): Aditya Malik
The vital importance of oral traditions and their expression in various genres – both classical and folk – within Hindu religious thought and practice cannot be emphasized enough. While undoubtedly there has been a proliferation of written texts in Sanskrit and other regional languages in South Asia, there has been an equally pervasive spread of oral narratives throughout diverse historical periods and not the least during the present day. At the very outset it is worthwhile noting that oral nar…

Bards and Reciters

(3,316 words)

Author(s): Aditya Malik
Although bards, reciters, and singers are critically important in the transmission, performance, composition, and creation of opulent traditions of literature, oral and written, their role has received insufficient recognition in scholarly writings on the history of Indian literary genres (see also oral traditions). However, taking into account the preponderance of the performative in the majority of literary genres in India, it is vital that we also appreciate the creative responsibilities of p…