Linda Hess’ Bodies of Song

Linda Hess’ book on Kabir oral traditions called Bodies of Song: Kabir Oral Traditions and Performative Worlds in North India is a great read. I also watched some of (though not all) of the documentaries made by Shabnam Virmani as part of the kabir project while reading the book. Both the book and the documentaries are strongly recommended. In Hess’ book, the fifth chapter on theory of oral tradition, at least for me, did not jell well with the rest of the book. But that is only a minor quibble. I also discovered some great artists such as Kaluram Bamaniya, Prahlad Singh Tipanya and Bheru Singh Chouhan and rediscovered some like Kumar Gandharva, Shubha Mudgal and Madhup Mudgal thanks to the book and documentaries!

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