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Negotiating Rites$
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Ute Husken and Frank Neubert

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199812295

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199812295.001.0001

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Hook-Swinging in South India

Hook-Swinging in South India

Negotiating The Subaltern Space Within a Colonial Society

Chapter:
(p.215) 11 Hook-Swinging in South India
Source:
Negotiating Rites
Author(s):

Ulrike Schröder

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199812295.003.0011

This chapter deals with the Indian ritual of Hook-swinging as an example for the negotiation of ritual space in the colonial society of South India during the 19th century and after. “Ritual” is considered here as a discursive formation that provides a dynamic resource for the negotiation of social, cultural and religious forms of identity for various groups within a society. The debate about Hook-swinging and its prohibition is analyzed in two ways. First, it is asked how colonial policy determines the field of social and religious discourse about rituals. This had a massive impact on the performance and contents of the ritual as well as on the participants and the socio-religious setting of Hook-swinging. But, second, it can be shown that within this transformation the ritual itself serves as a space of subaltern agency and resistance to colonial and social suppression within the colonial society.

Keywords:   hook-swinging, colonial society, south India, religious discourse, subaltern agency

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