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

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Of Men, Women, and Their Animal Kinsfolk

Throughout history, human and animal lifeworlds have been entangled symbolically, emotionally, and instrumentally, mediated along caste and gender lines.

[The authors are grateful to Haritma Chopra, who is with the Maitreyi College, University of Delhi.]

Maurice Halbwachs in On Collective Memory (1925) described collective memories as remembrances of events and experiences common to the greatest number of members in a group. Tim Ingold in What Is An Animal? (1988) notes that people’s attitudes and reflections on animals have varied with their cultural traditions. The collective memories of interspecies intimacy vary regionally within India. Anand Pandian’s 2008 article “Pastoral Power in the Postcolony: On the Biopolitics of the Criminal Animal in South Asia” explores how, among the Piramalai Kallar community from the Cumbum Valley of Tamil Nadu, the community attributes human feel-ings of “thievishness” to their animals, with their hearts capable of remembering based on each animal’s individual dispositions apart from extending animalistic idioms to themselves in relation to their masculinity that range from freedom fighters being described as cantiyar maatu (that is, obstinate bull) and/or viewing their own categorisation by colonial rulers as criminal tribes as being akin to a nose-ring put on a bull.

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Published On : 22nd Mar, 2024

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