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Title: Devadasis: A historical analysis
Other Titles: Karatoya, A Refereed and Peer Reviewed Journal, Department of History, Vol.15, March 2022, pp 56-70
Authors: Lama, Sudash
Mahanta, Sanchita
Keywords: Matrilineal
Issue Date: Mar-2022
Publisher: University of North Bengal
Abstract: Tradition of Devadāsī is a century-old phenomenon. The theme of pleasing the Supreme Being is nothing but a continuous process of devotion and belief in divinity. One association with divine power can be seen in the case of devadasis. These women were considered as the wives of the Gods, but in later periods they were also associated with the Goddesses too. As devadasis was seen as the utmost replica of chaste women because of their connexion with the celestial beings. The temple was the epicentre of the early medieval and medieval society. The temples were mainly donated by the royal families, rich merchants, and merchant guilds to legitimize the feudal polity to form an equation between the deity and the ruler in the world of authority in the agrarian fields as well as in materialistic matters. They were never recognized as widows or deprived of their marital status, as they were married to a god who was immortal. The theme of social constructs changed with in the bygone times; it translated from gender to sex, biological identification to define human beings. The system has gone through erosion in its position because of the existing power struggle of men in the social, political, economic, and cultural yards. In the shadow of patriarchy, devadasis occupied the role of a man, yet remained as like another woman in the social conjuncture. The practice of donating girls in the temples gave birth to a quasi-matrilineal community under the patriarchal equilibrium.
ISSN: 2229-4880
Appears in Collections:Karatoya Vol.15 (March 2022)

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