M. N. Srinivas defined Sanskritization as a process by which “a “low” Hindu caste, or tribal or other group, changes its customs, ritual, ideology, and way of life in the direction of a high, and frequently, “twice-born” caste” (Social Change. page 6). Many scholars have criticised this concept mainly because it reduces lower castes to mere emulators. Many anthropologists have rejected the concept of sanskritic/non-sanskritic traditions because they assume that any culture is a mixture of both. And most importantly the concept of Sanskritization fails to describe the process wherein the upper castes or Brahmins adopt lower caste traditions.
In fact, in the first write up, even other singers like Rukmini Devi and Balasaraswathi are described as differently but inextricably tied to the idea of Sanskritization, along with M.S. Subbulakshmi. Rukmini Devi, one of the first women from a higher caste to practice and perform Sadir/Bharatanatyam, is said to have modified the dance form by “purifying” it i.e., by ridding it of its erotic elements or its sensuality, and thereby removing the stigma of the devadasis. However, this process is not considered as problematic by the author and he describes this as a process of Sanskritization and Rukmini Devi is considered as the one who was irrefutably involved in endorsing Sanskritization in her field of art even though Rukhmini Devi’s effort was actually not related to the concept of Sanskritization. Because here it is a formerly low caste dance form that is being adopted and “revived” by the upper caste for the practice of upper caste girls. How can this be brought under the category of Sanskritization?
Who are the emulators here? What are the essences which are kept alive in these art forms when it gets “purified”, “revived” or “elevated”?
T M Krishna’s description of Balasaraswathi, a Devadasi who rejected Sanskritization also add to this point. He writes, “She had complete faith in her own history and heritage as a Devadasi dancer; saw Sadir as ‘perfect’ and requiring no modification. She saw the process of sanitizing (arguably sanskritizing) as unnecessary, threatening to her art form and even vulgar. For her, this process was a deadly threat to the existence of her heritage and dance, as she knew it. Her rejection of Sanskritization, in many ways, defined her and her dance.” Here what has been considered as vulgar by the upper caste women is not vulgar to lower caste women. As we see Balasaraswathi’s case is enough to criticise the whole concept of Sanskritization in art forms. And we also see upper caste women like Rukhmini Devi who adopt the art forms of lower castes and lower caste women like Balasarawasthi who take pride in their heritage and are stringently against the process of Sanskiritization.
—Sanskritization or Appropriation: Caste and Gender in “Indian” Music and Dance by Sreebitha P. V.
[Screencaps of Balasarawasthi from Satyajit Ray’s 1976 documentary Bala]
Left is Monument 6, one of 8 colossal heads found at San Lorenzo Tenochtitlan. To the right we can see Monument 52, which is a seated Olmec were-jaguar sculpture from San Lorenzo Tenochtitlan, Veracruz.
On today’s date, September 18th, Leon Foucault was born. Well-noted for his demonstration of the Foucault Pendulum, which was conceived as a simple experiment to show the rotation of the Earth, Foucault also devised an early measurement of the speed of light, discovered eddy currents, and is credited with naming the gyroscope.
Happy 195th birthday, Monsieur Foucault!
This colossal circle in the Sahara Desert is known as the ‘Eye of Africa’. Scientists originally thought a meteorite had created it but now they believe it is simply a geological oddity caused by the erosion of layers of rock: http://1.usa.gov/1lzOREn via NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Image: Oleg Artemyev/Roscosmos
Nimrud bas relief showing Tree of Life in assistance of Winged Guardians. Relief from the walls of the Northwest palace of Ashurnasirpal at Nimrud (present day Iraq,) circa 859 B.C.
Awesome little film about the treatment of texting + computer screens in film, and how it has evolved.
Head of Sorrow (Joan of Arc)
Signed front of rocky base to right: A.Rodin Foundry mark back of base to left: Alexis Rudier/Fondeur PARIS
Modeled c.1882, enlarged 1905; cast 1925
Auguste Rodin, French, 1840 - 1917. Cast by the founder Alexis Rudier, Paris, 1874 - 1952.
I have done nothing except by revelation. — Jeanne d’Arc
Inscribed front of base: Faunesse; and on right side of base, toward front: 2ème Epreuve. Foundry mark right side of base: F. RUDIER./ FOUNDEUR.PARIS.
Modeled c. 1887; cast 1900
Auguste Rodin, French, 1840 - 1917. Cast made by F. Rudier, Paris.
Signed and inscribed on front of base: à Mucha/ —Rodin
Made in France, Europe
Modeled 1885; cast 1927
Auguste Rodin, French, 1840 - 1917
Dandelions are the enemy in the war for the pristine green lawn. However, they are incredibly beneficial to many insects and pollinators, and there are a variety of ways to cook and eat them.
Ode To The Dandelion
University of Maryland Medical Center - Dandelion
National Gardening Association - Fall Garden Cover Crops
Large populations of dandelions can actually offer such a strong floral cue to pollinators that the forego visiting a majority of other plants on the landscape. This can be especially damaging to rare plant species or those that cannot self pollinate.
Mummy coffin of Henettawy
This coffin is from the 3rd intermediate when tombs were no longer safe and coffins became more elaborate. All the scenes that were on the walls of tombs before, are now represented on the coffins.
Found in Egypt, Thebes, Deir el-Bahri, Tomb of Henettawy (MMA 59)
Egyptian, 3rd Intermediate Period, 21st dynasty, 1000 - 945 BC.
Source: Metropolitan Museum
Charcoal on white paper, 60 x 46 cm
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: The Rider on the Pale Horse
by George Frederic Watts
Date painted: c.1878
Oil on canvas, 66.5 x 53.4 cm
Collection: National Museums Liverpool
William Blake. Los. 1804-20
Etching with pen, watercolour and gold, 146 x 222 mm
Page 1 of 12