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Revelry, Rivalry, and Longing for the Goddesses of Bengal
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Revelry, Rivalry, and Longing for the Goddesses of Bengal: The Fortunes of Hindu Festivals

Rachel Fell McDermott

Abstract

Annually, during the months of autumn, Bengal hosts three interlinked festivals to honor its most important goddesses: Durgā, Kālī, and Jagaddhātrī. While each of these deities possesses a distinct iconography, myth, and character, they are all martial. Durgā, Kālī, and Jagaddhātrī often demand blood sacrifice as part of their worship and offer material and spiritual benefits to their votaries. Richly represented in straw, clay, paint, and decoration, they are similarly displayed in elaborately festooned temples, thronged by thousands of admirers. Recounting the history of these festivals and ... More

Keywords: Bengal, Durgā, Kālī, Jagaddhātrī, goddess, deities, blood sacrifice, festivals

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2011 Print ISBN-13: 9780231129190
Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015 DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231129190.001.0001

Authors

Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Rachel Fell McDermott, author
Barnard College