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Locating Life StoriesBeyond East-West Binaries in (Auto)Biographical Studies$
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Maureen Perkins

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780824837303

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824837303.001.0001

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Local Boons: The Many Lives of Family Stories

Local Boons: The Many Lives of Family Stories

Chapter:
(p.239) Local Boons: The Many Lives of Family Stories
Source:
Locating Life Stories
Author(s):

Kirin Narayan

Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824837303.003.0012

This chapter focuses on family stories. These stories include rehashings of recent events that the speaker may have personally observed; oral history and legends about ancestors that are passed along through generations; and also myths that index a family's relationship to supernatural or divine beings. Family stories offer family members a personalized connection to places and to history. For instance, in India, the presence of caste bards, the Bhats or Charans, also extend family stories into a more formalized arena. For cultural anthropologists, family stories are largely an unmarked analytic category: certainly, other people's family stories appear in life histories, oral histories, and even ethnographic accounts, but they are usually shuffled in amid other sorts of narrative data.

Keywords:   family stories, Bhats, Charans, ethnographic accounts, narrative data, cultural anthropologists

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