ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Writing Family Histories

The oral transmission of lineage is prevalent among almost all communities in Kerala as elsewhere. But giving it an enduring written form, a profusion of family histories are being produced among the Syrian Christians of Kerala with a veneer of scientific historiography. While some are works of high scholarship and historical accuracy, most appear to be heraldic manifestos intended to establish the putative superiority of the family. What role do these quasi-fictions play in the identity-construction of the Syrian Christians given the socio-political location in which the community is positioned today?

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