Symbolic Heat - Dennis B. McGilvray

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For the Tamils, an ethnic community in modern-day South India and Sri-Lanka, a concept of physical and spiritual heat as female energy (sakti) influences their diet, their traditional medical practices, their view of men and women, and their worship of Hindu deities. This cultural viewpoint is interpreted here photographically, by an anthropologist who has conducted first hand field research in both locations. Some of the striking interconnections between "cooling" and "heating" foods, Ayurvedic humoral medical treatments, male and female gender relations, popular beliefs about sexuality and the life cycle, and "cooling" rituals of worship for "hot" Hindu goddesses are illustrated in this volume, which accompanies the Symbolic Heat photographic exhibit mounted by the University of Colorado Museum.