By Susan Snow Wadley
"... [T]ells a superb tale, one a lot enjoyed in northern India.... fills an enormous lacuna within the paintings on oral epic." -- Lindsey HarlanDhola is an oral epic played basically via 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 gigantic epic portrays a global of complicated social relationships regarding altering and flawed identities, goddesses, robust girls, magicians, and people of many alternative castes. during this accomplished examine and primary prolonged English translation in keeping with a number of oral models, Susan Snow Wadley argues that the tale explores the character of humanity whereas additionally hard usual assumptions approximately Hinduism, gender, and caste. She examines the connection among oral and written texts and the impression of person functionality kinds along a lyrical translation of the paintings.
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Extra info for Raja Nal And The Goddess: The North Indian Epic Dhola In Performance
Very bad things will happen to you. You must also remember that I am a daughter of the gods, and I cannot bear a child for you. ” So Raja Nal swears that he will not marry again. Then the goddesses Durga and Behmata come, with all their ghosts and followers. Behmata sings ga¯lı¯ (songs of abuse toward the boy’s family sung by the women of the bride’s family at north Indian weddings). And the marriage canopy is set up and the marriage held. Motini gives Raja Nal the necklace of eighty-four snake gems that had been found in one of the rooms of the demon as dowry, along with the seven-edged sword of Indra and the ﬂying water horse.
Nal tells her not to think this way. “I am sure that you will meet your son. ” So Manjha takes the old man in her arms and milk ﬂows from her nipples, and 20 Dhola Nal drinks it and touches her feet. She no longer is blind. (WA 84:235; 89:11, 20; 90:23–24; 94:13) The Story of Nal (Nal Kı¯ Katha¯) Pratham searches everywhere for a Pandit who can tell the story of Nal so that he can win Motini. He sends messengers to Banaras, but they ﬁnd no one who knows the story of Nal. Then he ﬁnds one Pandit who says that he knows the Nal Pura¯n˚ and demands a gift of ﬁve villages.
Motini is suspicious of 18 Dhola their behavior and places the necklace with the eighty-four snake gems around Nal’s neck, telling him not to remove it until he reaches his mother’s house. But as Motini and Nal sleep, the two uncles pick up Raja Nal and drop him overboard into the sea. Nal is able to grab hold of the anchor chain, but the two wicked uncles take sticks and beat his hands so that he is forced to let go. And he falls down to Patal Lok, the underworld of the snake king Basukdev. On the ship the two wicked Merchant uncles try to seduce Motini, but she reminds them that they are the maternal uncles of her husband and therefore she is like their real daughter.
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