Myth and Identity II: Narrative Construction of One’s Social Entity by Parit Communities in Maharashtra

Guy Poitevin


By defining the operational concept of dantakathÅ, this article attempts to represent the cognitive status of four narratives collected by the author from the Parit community of Maharashtra, a community traditionally assigned the occupation of washermen in the service of the village’s dominant castes. It points out some specific features of dantakathÅ , a symbolic form of social communication and outcome of language; especially enlightening when viewed in the perspective of linguistic studies. This study attempts to prove that ‘a narrative may discursively function as a covert assert for cultural and social counter moves of counter-power, and unavowed wishes of dissent or discontent.’

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