Painted Words By G.N. Devy (9780143028369)
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May your granary fill till it overflows’ Painted Words is the first collection of its kind: writings in a rich variety of genres by Adivasis and denotified tribals. Culled from all over India, the selections include tribal versions of the Mahabharat and Ramayan, colourful legends, rhythmic epics, poignant songs, oral histories and a simple but chilling play depicting the routine exploitation of tribal citizens. Anchoring such fancies as a magical flower, a bed with golden legs and a girl who lights cooking fires with her tongue are the realities of political graft, wedding-day debacles and rank police brutality. Edited by one of India’s foremost literary critics, Painted Words spotlights a rarely seen, barely understood facet of India’s cultural heritage, and shows how deeply intertwined are the mainstream and tribal traditions.