The Grace of Four Moons: Dress, Adornment, and the Art of the Body in Modern India
Because clothing, food, and shelter are basic human needs, they provide excellent entries to cultural values and individual aesthetics. Everyone gets dressed every day, but body art has not received the attention it deserves as the most common and universal of material expressions of culture. The Grace of Four Moons aims to document the clothing decisions made by ordinary people in their everyday lives. Based on fieldwork conducted primarily in the city of Banaras, India, Pravina Shukla conceptualizes and realizes a total model for the study of body art--understood as all aesthetic modifications and supplementations to the body. Shukla urges the study of the entire process of body art, from the assembly of raw materials and the manufacture of objects, through their sale and the interactions between merchants and consumers, to the consumer's use of objects in creating personal decoration.
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About the Author
Pravina Shukla is Associate Professor in the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology at Indiana University. She is author of Costume: Performing Identities through Dress (IUP, 2015) and editor (with Ray Cashman and Tom Mould) of The Individual and Tradition: Folkloristic Perspectives (IUP, 2011).