ISBN 9788185822525,Symbolic Heat

Symbolic Heat


Mapin Publishing



Mapin Publishing

Publication Year 1998

ISBN 9788185822525

ISBN-10 8185822522


Number of Pages 72 Pages
Language (English)


For the Tamils, an ethnic community in modern-day South India and Sri-Lanka, a concept of physical and spiritual heat as female energy (sakti) influences their diet, their traditional medical practices, their view of men and women, and their worship of Hindu deities. This cultural viewpoint is interpreted here photographically, by an anthropologiest who has conducted firsthand field research in both locations. Some of the striking interconnections between "cooling" and "heating" foods, Ayurvedic humoral medical treatments, male and female gender relations, popular beliefs about sexuality and the life cycle, and "cooling" rituals of worship for "hot" Hindu goddesses are illustrated in this volume, which accompanies the Symbolic Heat photographic exhibit mounted by the University of Colorado Museum.

About the Author
Dennis McGilvray is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Colorado at Boulder. A graduate of Reed College (B.A. 1965) and the University of Chicago (Ph.D.1974), he previously taught at the University of Santa Clara, the University of Cambridge, and Cornell University. He has made numerous fieldwork trips to the Tamil-speaking Hindu and Muslim family communities of eastern Sri Lanka, as well as conducted shorter research projects in South India, starting in 1969 and continuing to the present. He is currently completing a book on matrilineal Hindu and Muslim family structures and domestic rituals in the Batticaloa region of Sri Lanka. All of the photographs in this book are his own, taken on research trips to the region over a span of two decades.

Table of Contents
The Tamils
Symbolic Heat
Food, Medicine, And Health
Gender And The Life Cycle
Hindu Worship
Suggestions For Further Reading

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