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Maithil Women's TalesStorytelling on the Nepal-India Border$
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Coralynn V. Davis

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038426

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038426.001.0001

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Ponds, the Feminine Divine, and a Shift in Moral Register

Ponds, the Feminine Divine, and a Shift in Moral Register

Chapter 6 Ponds, the Feminine Divine, and a Shift in Moral Register
Maithil Women's Tales

Coralynn V. Davis

University of Illinois Press

This chapter explores the meaning of ponds in Maithil women's tales. In many stories featuring ponds and occasionally, by extension, other bodies of water, female characters demonstrate special capacities. In Maithil women's folktales, ponds are often sites for the articulation of women's insights, as well as social and metaphysical agency in plots featuring male protagonists. Frequently, the trope of ponds shifts the imaginative register toward women's perspectives and to the importance of women's knowledge and influence in shaping their world. The tales in which such register shifts occur can be called “pond-woman tales” and the insightful women characters found in them “pond women.”

Keywords:   ponds, women's insights, women's perspectives, women's knowledge, folktales

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