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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Although largely preserved in written manuscript form and closely associated
with the literary magic associated with the power of letters and texts as ritual
objects, kakawin display many features of oral traditions. They are epic poems
Moreover, court scribal conventions that presumably supported the preservation
of only the most orthodox texts may have served to flatten or obliterate texts that
showed significant differences. At the same time, the subjects of this study — the
legal texts, as well as an observable social practice. Indian legal thought had a
profound effect on the legal frameworks that evolved in the Indic courts of the
Indonesian archipelago. Although it is not known with certainty which Indian law