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Travel and Ethnology in the Renaissance: South India through European Eyes 1250-1625

This impressively erudite, well researched, and eloquently written book by Joan Pau Rubiés analyses the development of Iberian and Italian travellers’ accounts of south India over three hundred years. Beginning with the medieval merchant travellers Marco Polo in the thirteenth century and ending with the humanist antiquarian Pietro della Valle in the early seventeenth century,Continue reading “Travel and Ethnology in the Renaissance: South India through European Eyes 1250-1625”

Donors, Devotees, and Daughters of God: Temple Women in Medieval Tamilnadu

The figure of the devadasi, or ‘temple-woman’, who entertained Hindu gods at festivals, hardly needs an introduction. Because of her supposed sexual availability, the devadasi became a potent and notorious symbol of the corruption of Hindu society. Together, colonial officials and Indian reformers legislated the devadasi out of existence and sanitized her dance traditions. MoreContinue reading “Donors, Devotees, and Daughters of God: Temple Women in Medieval Tamilnadu”