Storytime in India

Storytime in India

Wedding Songs, Victorian Tales, and the Ethnographic Experience
Helen Priscilla Myers and Umesh Chandra Pandey
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 06/14/2019
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-253-04163-0
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Description

Stories are the backbone of ethnographic research. During fieldwork, subjects describe their lives through stories. Afterward ethnographers come home from their journeys with stories of their own about their experiences in the field.

Storytime in India is an exploration of the stories that come out of ethnographic fieldwork. Helen Priscilla Myers and Umesh Chandra Pandey examine the ways in which their research collecting Bhojpuri wedding songs became interwoven with the stories of their lives, their work together, and their shared experience reading The Eustace Diamonds by Anthony Trollope. Moving through these intertwined stories, the reader learns about the complete Bhojpuri wedding tradition through songs sung by Gangajali and access to the original song recordings and their translations. In the interludes, Pandey reads and interprets The Eustace Diamonds, confronting the reader with the ever-present influence of colonialism, both in India and in ethnographic fieldwork. Interwoven throughout are stories of the everyday, highlighting the ups and downs of the ethnographic experience.

Storytime in India combines the style of the Victorian novel with the structure of traditional Indian village tales, in which stories are told within stories. This book questions how we can and should present ethnography as well as what we really learn in the field. As Myers and Pandey ultimately conclude, writers of scholarly books are storytellers themselves and scholarly books are a form of art, just like the traditions they study.

Author Bio

Helen Priscilla Myers has held numerous posts and published widely in the field of ethnomusicology. Currently she serves as Professor at Large at the American University of Ellis Hollow.

Umesh Chandra Pandey is an elder and a farmer from Karimganj, Western Uttar Pradesh, India. A subject of American anthropological research since birth, he has now turned to writing as a career.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

List of Songs and Accessing the Audio Files

Prologue

Introduction: Umesh Explains Storytime

1. A Fulbright Grant to Banaras, India

2. Toast

Interlude I: Lizzy Greystock

3. Setting Up Our Apartment in Banaras, 2007

4. The Daily Routine

Interlude II: Sir Florian

5. Arranging an Indian Wedding

6. The Search for a Boy

7. Helen and Umesh Meet

8. Viewing the Bride

9. The Tilak Talk Begins

10. Gangajali

11. The Tilak, Explained by Umesh

12. Song Journey

13. Tilak Songs

14. "Dress Him in a Bra and Bodice": Gali for the Tilak

15. The Songs Become Personal

16. "We Sell Dreams"

17. Saguni Songs: "This night is ours"

Interlude III: Lady Eustace

18. Umesh Remembers Charlotte Wiser

19. Matikor: Sashi Interrupts, but We Do Not Hear "A Mare Has Pissed"

20. Helen’s Pounding Pot

21. Umesh Explains Gali

Interlude IV. Lucy Morris

22. The Kalas and the Harish

23. Arranging a Priest

24. Wedding Expenses

25. The Island Diaspora: My Introduction to Indian Culture from Far Away

Interlude V: Frank Greystock

26. Grannie Music

27. Ethnomusicology

28. The Turmeric Is Pleasing

Interlude VI: The Eustace Necklace

29. Heat

30. Kissing

31. The Bride and Groom go to the Kohabar

32. Sahana Songs before the Wedding Ritual: The Blue Blue Horse

33. Umesh Tells the Krishna Story

Interlude VII: Lady Linlithgow’s Mission, , The Sawab of Mygawb

34. And Love

35. Kabir

36. Great Novels and Lesser Novels

37. Trapping the Family Gods

Interlude VIII: Mr. Burke’s Speeches

38. Helen Contracts Typhoid

39. Getting the Siri at the Home of the Potter

40. My Husband Is the Inspector of Police

Interlude IX: The Conquering Hero Comes

41. The Evil Eye

42. Umesh Gets Malaria

43. On the Stage, the Bridegroom Puts on His Garments

44. Preparing for Winter

45. Adorn the Elephant, Adorn the Horse

46. The Jaluaa

47. The Story of Krishna and the Crocodile: A Song with Many Many Stories

48. Umesh Tells the Remainder of the Krishna Story

49. More Jaluaa Songs and Stories

Interlude X: Showing What the Miss Fawns Said, and What Mrs. Hittaway Thought

50. Charlotte Wiser Leaves Karimganj

51. Wedding Night

52. Mona’s Nacchu Nahawan in Rasalpur

53. Protecting the Bride from the Evil Eye

Interlude XI: Lizzie and Her Lover

54. Arrival at the Janmassa

55. Gali for Barati People and Bridegroom

56. What about Clothes and Ornaments

57. Bhajan Interlude

Interlude XII: Lord Fawn at His Office

58. Umesh Recalls His Wedding

59. Feeding the Wedding Party

60. Dwar Puja—The New System

61. The Animal Party

62. Departure of the Barat

Interlude XIII: I Only Thought of It

63. The Bridegroom Enters the Courtyard

64. The Bride Enters the Courtyard

65. Donation of the Virgin Daughter

66. Ceremony of the Puffed Rice

67. The Sindur Ritual

68. The Kohabar Ritual

69. Ceremony at the Ganges

Interlude XIV: Showing What Frank Greystock Did

70. Arrival of the Bride in her Sasural, the Gauna

71. Love Marriages

72. Five Days

73. Just One More Song

74. Gangajali’s Story

Interlude XV: "Doan’t Thou Marry for Munny"

75. One Last Song

Interlude XVI: I’ll Give You a Hundred Guinea Broach

76. Preparing for China

77. Leaving Banaras in 2008

78. Conclusion

Interlude XVII: The Eustace Diamonds

79. Umesh Tells a Story from Karimganj

80. A Passage to India

81. Bangles in Ballia

82. Across the Seven Seas

83. Umesh Arranges for the Swan’s Quill

84. The Religion of Humanity

85. Storytime

Appendix: Rituals of the Hindu Wedding in Ballia

Glossary

Bibliography

Index