By Susan Snow Wadley

"... [T]ells a superb tale, one a lot enjoyed in northern India.... fills a tremendous lacuna within the paintings on oral epic." -- Lindsey HarlanDhola is an oral epic played basically by means of lower-caste, often illiterate, males within the Braj quarter of northern India. the tale of Raja Nal, "a king who doesn't be aware of he's a king," this monstrous epic portrays a global of advanced social relationships regarding altering and incorrect identities, goddesses, strong ladies, magicians, and people of many various castes. during this complete research and primary prolonged English translation in line with a number of oral types, Susan Snow Wadley argues that the tale explores the character of humanity whereas additionally not easy standard assumptions approximately Hinduism, gender, and caste. She examines the connection among oral and written texts and the effect of person functionality types along a lyrical translation of the paintings.

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Extra resources for Raja Nal And The Goddess: The North Indian Epic Dhola In Performance

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Probably at the moment she was born, no one else was born in the whole world, for she is so wondrous. Nal sits calmly, his feet touching the ground as befits one born a warrior. The two turbans rest on the throne: Indra’s glimmers with the entire milky way sewn into it, whereas Nal’s is old, threadbare, stained with turmeric. Initially Dumenti is distracted by the glowing jewels of Indra’s turban, but then she realizes it is the illusion of wealth. She picks up the turmeric-stained turban and holds it to her breast, leaving the star-studded one on the throne.

So Dumenti chooses her husband again. This time Indra turns himself and all the 330 million gods into figures identical to Nal. Dumenti gazes with wonder at the multitudes of Nals. But with the help of the goddess, she is able to identity the one Nal who is human, whose feet touch the earth, whose garland is wilted, whose eyes blink. Recognizing Raja Nal, she garlands him. Again Indra is furious. Taking his followers with him, he leaves immediately for heaven, committed to seeking revenge against Raja Nal, that mere human who was chosen over himself, king of the gods, by the lovely Dumenti (WA 94:17–19, 22–27; 02:6–14; Shankar Lal 1987).

Pratham wants him to move immediately into the palace, but Raja Nal declines, saying, “I’ll come only if you dig a pit, and in it lay the hundred queens and sprinkle them with curds and then loose hunting dogs on them. And you kill the Pandit who lied to you. ” Manjha also refuses to reside in Narvar, saying that she had been living in a Merchant’s house and must first bathe in the Ganges7 (WA 89:20–23). The Battle of Kampilagarh (Kampila¯gar˚ h Kı¯ Lar˚ a¯¯ı) New Characters Phul Singh Panjabi Sarvati, the daughter of Phul Singh Panjabi Manjha is reunited with her husband, Raja Pratham, but insists on bathing in the Ganges to remove the sin of living with the merchants for twelve years.

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