marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

Folktales from India

Folktales from India by A.K. Ramanujan

Titled with care, since there is a lot of regional differences.  The Muslim vs. Hindu are the most pronounced and easy to see.  All of them, of course, have the possibility of polygamous unions.  Very common for a heroine's problem to be not her jealous sisters, nor her annoyed mother-in-law or stepmother-in-law, but her precursors as queen.

Tales of sillies, tales of cunning scoundrels, animals tales, pure fairy tales. . . often with fillips unrecognizable from European tales.  A "Love Like Salt" opening where the father wants to know whether his daughters deem their prosperity owing to his fate or theirs leads not to three balls but to a Feather of Finist the Falcon type tale.  Kind and unkind girls where the girls are half-sisters -- one's mother got all the inheritance, and the other widow has to spin, and her daughter loses the cotton to the wind.   A rajah who loses his arms and legs and still gets chosen by a princess of China as her bridegroom.  And a lot more.
Tags: fairy tale reviews

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