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The pasts of a Pālaiyakārar : the ethnohistory of a south Indian little king

Dirks, Nicholas B. (1981) The pasts of a Pālaiyakārar : the ethnohistory of a south Indian little king. Humanities Working Paper, 65. California Institute of Technology , Pasadena, CA.

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This paper examines a text which is the family history of a line of south Indian "little kings," or pālaiyakārars. Beginning with a discussion of different modes of history, I analyze this text as both a statement of a particular history and a cultural representation of a more general modality of history. As a particular history, this text enables me to talk about conceptions of royal appropriateness and sovereignty, of political relations, and of kingly privileges; as a cultural form the text provides clues about the relations of these cultural conceptions to a structural form of narrative emplotment with all its underlying assumptions about time, causation, and process. Finally, I consider how a hermeneutical exercise of this sort is very important for Western analysts who wish to reconstruct the "history" of south Indian politics.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Working Paper)
Group:Humanities Working Papers
Series Name:Humanities Working Paper
Issue or Number:65
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20090814-140850806
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Official Citation:Dirks, Nicholas B. The pasts of a Pālaiyakārar: the ethnohistory of a south Indian little king. Pasadena, CA: California Institute of Technology, 1981. Humanities Working Paper, No. 65.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:15049
Deposited By: Lindsay Cleary
Deposited On:17 Aug 2009 16:43
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 00:54

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