Folk forms, subalternity, marginality, victimisation and sexuality seem to get interlocked into a complex interconnected structure, often characterised by the contested binary phenomenon of the peripheral position of folk forms and the pedagogical presence of the dominant mainstream forms of arts and literature. This contest dilutes down to the structuring of Manichean symbolism of the qualitative divide between established and refined artistic forms and undocumented folk forms; one well structured and expressed while the other remains subjugated within deep ravines of narrowly understood and sparsely followed narratives in local dialects. The paper highlights this very division by deconstructing ways in which folk forms get overshadowed by the highly publicised mainstream hegemonic art forms and literary creations, thereby leading to the parochialisation of social issues into the framework of mere mainstream cultural gaze and squinting the very perspective of looking at these issues from the viewpoint of other alternative non-established forms. This inadequacy hence results in the creation of hidden spaces, which present themselves as furtive grounds to be explored by social scientists. My contention is that folklore tends to represent queer forms of expression by their bold descriptions of unconventional issues such as feminine sexuality, else tabooed as deculturalised practices in mainstream cultural forms. Folk narratives tend to be more brazen in articulating the intricate linkages between culture and biology by invalidating the more popular and established notions of feminine sexuality that has been subjugated and victimised by the dominant masculine articulations of sexual practices. In this way, folk forms tend to dislodge the inevitability of culture as an influential force on biological behaviour, as held in mainstream cultural discourses. The paper explores portrayal of feminine sexuality in Rajasthani folk literature and brings to the fore how marginalisation and subalternity fail to restrain the bold feminine expressions of sexual longings.
|Keywords:||Folklore, Feminine Sexuality, Subalternity, Marginality, Patriarchy|
Associate Professor, Department of History and Indian Culture, Faculty of Social Sciences, BanasthaliVidyapith, Tonk, Rajasthan, India