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Politics of Patronage and ProtestThe State, Society, and Artisans in Early Modern Rajasthan$
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Nandita Prasad Sahai

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195678963

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195678963.001.0001

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Artisanal Jatis, Jati Panchayats, and the State

Artisanal Jatis, Jati Panchayats, and the State

(p.88) 3 Artisanal Jatis, Jati Panchayats, and the State
Politics of Patronage and Protest

Nandita Prasad Sahai

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the endogenous world of the artisans, beginning with a general discussion on asymmetrically gendered relationships in craft societies despite the craftswoman’s critical roles in their household economies. The author probes questions of law and the place of customary traditions in judicial dispensations by the state in intra-family, intra-caste, or even inter-caste disputes among artisans. Juxtaposing state governance against local governance through caste councils, the chapter discusses administrative regulation, disciplining, and the organization of artisanal society enforced by these agencies. The author describes self-governance and the role of jati panchayats in some detail, and points out that, in the exercise of power, collaboration between these and the Jodhpur state was mutually advantageous to both. The chapter concludes by discussing the issue of excommunication: the Jodhpur state generally recommended the reinstatement of excommunicated individuals into their communities, mainly to avoid potential criminalization or the migration of artisanal talent.

Keywords:   artisanal jati panchayats, Jodhpur state, artisanal talent, artisanal migration, Marwari craftswomen, gendered justice, artisanal caste councils, judicial collaboration, caste excommunication

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