First There Was Woman And Other Stories

First There Was Woman And Other Stories

Product ID: 23491

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Author: Marija Sres
Publisher: Kali/Zubaan
Year: 2007
Language: English
Pages: 82
ISBN/UPC (if available): 81-89884-35-2



The Dungri Garasiya, an indigenous group in North Gujarat, believed that the first being to be created was woman and so in their society women were as respected as men and property passed down from mother to daughter.

It was a time when girls were as desired as sons. A time when girls beat boys in games and races. A time when there was no gender divides. And so also in these stories it is the women who are stronger, wiser, faster, sharper, and certainly far more beautiful than their men. It is they who think out of the box, who are imaginative, creative, and full of wise ideas.

From tales of ghostly possession to magic mantras, from kings and queens full of passion to village youth bursting with sexual ardour, these timeless folktales are full of the joy of being alive, of sensual enjoyment and pleasure. While Kudrat (God is imagined as being feminine) and Deva conspire and wreak havoc on their people, the dance of life continues with naked young maidens swimming in the streams or being courted by dark handsome youths amidst much laughter and teasing. The forests are full of birds and beasts and fish and life for the tribal is for the most part simple and innocent, truth and right always prevail and defeat the forces of darkness — be it a scheming stepmother, a murderous wife or lover, or a cruel and lustful king.


Introducing Marija Sres

The Story Behind My Stories

1. The Golden Age and the Deluge
2. How Kava Deceived Kavi
3. First there was Woman
4. Bhoot Pesi Gayo
5. The Curse of King Hudo
6. Karmabai, Daughter of the Shesh Nag
Or, Why the Great Snake has its head in
Mumbai and its tail in Shamlaji
7. The Serpent’s Gift
8. Fulwanti, the Flower Princess
9. Alkhi and Dhulki
10. Bhaliya and Priya
11. How Surya Cared for his Aged Father
12. Brother and Sister No More
13. Those Clever Crows
14. The Cobras under the Oleander Tree

Note on the Dungri Garasiy Bhils