Viramma: Life of a Dalit

Viramma: Life of a Dalit

Product ID: 14718

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Author: Viramma
Josiane and Jean-Luc Racine/Will Hobson
Translator(s): Will Hobson
Publisher: Social Science Press
Year: 2005
Language: English
Pages: 321
ISBN/UPC (if available): 818735819X


This is the first Indian edition of this remarkable book, which created a great impact in France and was subsequently translated into English and Italian. The Indian edition carries a fresh Afterword by Jean-Luc and Josiane Racine.

This book is the result of ten years of conversations between Viramma and Josiane Racine. Virmma’s knowledge of popular songs and laments made her a valuable source for Josiane Racine’s ethnomusicological research; but, when asked about her life, Viramma’s initial tendency was to play down its hardship and, in general, to gloss over any feelings that might appear provocative or critical of the established order.


An event, An exceptional testimony backed by an exemplary editorial work.
-ANDRE VELTER LE MONDE (Literary Supplement)

Can the subaltern speak? And now we have an answer and it is Can the subaltern speak!




A childhood in Velpakkam
The marriage is arranged
Becoming a woman
The wedding night
He still desires me!
A mother to twelve children
The destinies of children
Irsi Katteri, the foetus-eater
The god of Tirupati
Mariamman and Kali
The festival of Mariamman
The seven virgins
A family funeral
Demons and Dharma
The caste of thieves
High and low castes in Karani
The Paraiyar
The blood sacrifice to Periyandavan
This Kaliyugam
Talking like they did in the old days
Two stories
Spells and spirit possession
The Pongal of the Oxen and the festival of Draupadi
Sharing the harvest
The way of the world





Under the banyan tree: Speaking from the ground by Josiane and Jean-Luc Racine