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IDENTIFYING ANIMALS IN THE APPLIED ARTS OF INDIA’S DECCAN PLATEAU

IDENTIFYING ANIMALS IN THE APPLIED ARTS OF INDIA’S DECCAN PLATEAU Gijs Kruijtzer IDENTIFYING ANIMALS IN THE APPLIED ARTS OF INDIA’S DECCAN PLATEAU What follows is a discussion of the use of images of animals in the 17th century in the Deccan Plateau (Central India) in the context of identity and group boundaries. Since Pauline Lunsingh Scheurleer has taken great pains to show me that the striking use of animal symbolism in the Deccan in the 17th century was nothing new, I should start by pointing out that depictions of animals in India formed part of two artistic traditions. Firstly the tradition in the visual arts of representing fighting animals, which goes back to the ancient Iranian peoples who seem to have spread it far and wide.1 Secondly the tradition of telling stories about animals which also goes back millennia and also has a complex history of borrowing between East, West and Middle East.2 In a way, however, animal symbolism was always new, because it referred to the social context of the age. More precisely, and as M. Garcin de Tassy remarks in the introduction to his history of Hindustani literature, ‘oriental’ animal fables were not only fun, but also thoroughly political, and an indirect way of expressing political truths http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Aziatische Kunst Brill

IDENTIFYING ANIMALS IN THE APPLIED ARTS OF INDIA’S DECCAN PLATEAU

Aziatische Kunst , Volume 38 (4): 9 – Jul 5, 2008

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
eISSN
2543-1749
DOI
10.1163/25431749-90000164
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Gijs Kruijtzer IDENTIFYING ANIMALS IN THE APPLIED ARTS OF INDIA’S DECCAN PLATEAU What follows is a discussion of the use of images of animals in the 17th century in the Deccan Plateau (Central India) in the context of identity and group boundaries. Since Pauline Lunsingh Scheurleer has taken great pains to show me that the striking use of animal symbolism in the Deccan in the 17th century was nothing new, I should start by pointing out that depictions of animals in India formed part of two artistic traditions. Firstly the tradition in the visual arts of representing fighting animals, which goes back to the ancient Iranian peoples who seem to have spread it far and wide.1 Secondly the tradition of telling stories about animals which also goes back millennia and also has a complex history of borrowing between East, West and Middle East.2 In a way, however, animal symbolism was always new, because it referred to the social context of the age. More precisely, and as M. Garcin de Tassy remarks in the introduction to his history of Hindustani literature, ‘oriental’ animal fables were not only fun, but also thoroughly political, and an indirect way of expressing political truths

Journal

Aziatische KunstBrill

Published: Jul 5, 2008

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