When The Body Becomes All Eyes (Paradigms, Discourses and Practices of Power in Kalarippayattu, a South Indian Martial Art)

When The Body Becomes All Eyes (Paradigms, Discourses and Practices of Power in Kalarippayattu, a South Indian Martial Art)

Item Code: IDD628
Author: Phillip B. Zarrilli
Publisher: Oxford University Press, New Delhi
Language: English
Edition: 2001
ISBN: 9780195655384
Pages: 332 (92 B/W Illustrations)
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 8.5" X 5.5"
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About the Book:

This is the first in-depth study of Kalarippayattu, one of India's traditional martial arts, dating from at least the twelfth century AD. Based on twenty years of research and practice in Kerala, this profusely-illustrated interdisciplinary performance ethnography traces how kalarippayattu is a mode of cultural practice through which bodies, knowledge, power, agency, selves, and identities are constantly repositioned. The book will be a rewarding one for all those interested in the martial arts, general readers, anthropologists and culture theory scholars.

About the Author:

Phillip B. Zarrilli is Professor in the Department of Drama at the University of Exeter, U.K., where he teaches kalarippayattu, yoga, and t'ai chi ch'uan, as part of the B.A. and M.A. (Theatre Practice) degrees.

Excerpt from Review:

'We are indeed grateful to…the author for provid(ing)…a historical outline of the martial art, its ritual setting and the various dimensions of the physical disciplining besides the centrality about its notion of the attainment of psycho-physical perfection…filling the whole body with eyes…a delightfully informative volume.'

-The Book Review








Acknowledgements and Note on Transliteration
List of Illustrations


Chapter 1. Introduction: Repositioning the Body,
Practice, Power and Self
Chapter 2. History, Kingship and the Heroic:
Kalarippayattu and the Invention of a Past
Chapter 3. The Ritual Life of the Kalari and its
Deities: Protecting and Empowering
the Body-in-Practice
Chapter 4. 'First the Outer Forms': The Physical
Body and the First Fruits of Practice
Chapter 5. 'Then the Inner Secrets': The Subtle
Body (Suksma Sarira), The Vital Energy
(Prana-Vayu) and Actualizing Power (Sakti)
Chapter 6. To Heal and/or To Harm: The Vital
Spots of the Body and Practice
Chapter 7. When the 'Body is all Eyes': Attaining
a State of Transformative 'Fury',
'Doubtlessness' and 'Mental Power'
Chapter 8. Repositioning the Body, Practice,
Power and Self in the Ethnographic Present

Appendix  I: Texts in the Kalarippayattu Tradition

Appendix II: Interviews, Personal Correspondence - Kalarippayattu and Varma Ati Masters





Sample Pages


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