Women of the Kakawin World: Marriage and Sexuality in the Indic Courts of Java and Bali
M.E. Sharpe, 2004 - 357페이지
In this fascinating study the lives and mores of women in one of the least understood but most densely populated areas of the world are unveiled through the eyes of generations of court poets. For more than a millennium, the poets of the Indic courts of Java and Bali composed epic kakawin poems in which they recreated the court environment where they and their royal patrons lived. Major themes in this poetry form include war, love, and marriage. It is a rich source for the cultural and social history of Indonesia. Still being produced in Bali today, kakawin remain of interest and relevance to Balinese cultural and religious identities.
This book draws on the epic kakawin poetry tradition to examine the institutions of courtship and marriage in the Indic courts. Its primary purpose is to explore the experiences of women belonging to the kakawin world, although the texts by nature reveal more about the discourses concerning women, sexuality, and gender than of the historical experiences of individual women.
For over a thousand years these royal courts were major patrons of the arts. The court-sponsored epic works that have survived provide an ongoing literary testimony to the cultural and social concerns of court society from its earliest recorded history until its demise at the end of the nineteenth century. This study examines the idealized images of women and sexuality that have pervaded Javanese and Balinese culture and provides insights into a number of cultural practices.
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From time to time, the boundaries have been pushed back to earlier periods, but
historical studies of women's experiences remain the exception.83 In contrast to
the study of women's history in other parts of the world, in the Indonesian context
men and women, are depicted as literate, although women's writing appears to
have been largely "social" writing, confined to the composition of lovers' laments
and messages of secret assignation, written on nonpermanent surfaces such as ...
36 Self-control is lauded, and total abstention from contact with women will even
provide a cure for the pain of separated lovers, as "love produces sorrow at
separation. When one realizes that love is meaningless then it disappears