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Contradictory Lives – Baul Women in India and Bangladesh - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Contradictory Lives: Baul Women in India and Bangladesh

Lisa I. Knight


In the popular imagination, Bauls in West Bengal (India) and Bangladesh are depicted as a sect of musical mendicants with flowing hair clad in ocher-colored clothes and carrying a one-stringed instrument. Their popularity stems from their mystical songs and their carefree, whimsical behavior. Somewhat less celebrated are Baul beliefs and practices: they are fiercely opposed to the caste system and sectarianism and, at least in the context of their sexo-yogic rituals and philosophy, extol women over men. Despite the importance of women among Bauls, scholarly and popular discourses on Bauls marg ... More

Keywords: Bengal, Bangladesh, Bauls, Baul beliefs, Baul practices, caste system, sectarianism, Baul women, music, gender

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2011 Print ISBN-13: 9780199773541
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199773541.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Lisa I. Knight, author
Furman University
Author Webpage