Tradition and Transformation in Mohiniyattam Dance

An Ethnographic History
by Justine Lemos (Author)
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Tradition and Transformation in Mohiniyattam Dance: An Ethnographic History demonstrates how Mohiniyattam, a form previously stigmatized, was reinvented as a sign of traditional Keralite womanhood. The book traces how the emergence of Mohiniyattam as a traditional form of dance based on a feminine aesthetic was synchronistic with the outlawing of polyandrous marriage practices and devadasi practices, as well as changes in matrilineal inheritance and the outlawing of and reforms in women’s dress customs in Kerala, India. These layers of history and cultural meaning permitted Mohiniyattam’s renaissance as a sign of female grace and tradition. Throughout, Lemos argues that practicing and learning movement is a gateway to understanding a system of semiosis. Danced movement itself can be a locust, a bellwether, and even an agent of social change.

DRM Protected
Publication date
June 28, 2022
Page count
Paper ISBN
File size
8 MB

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