Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist
Seeking Bauls of Bengal

Seeking Bauls of Bengal

$100.00 (C)

Award Winner

Part of University of Cambridge Oriental Publications

  • Date Published: September 2002
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521811255

$ 100.00 (C)

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Looking for an examination copy?

If you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact providing details of the course you are teaching.

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • Bauls have achieved fame as wandering minstrels and mystics in India and Bangladesh. They are recruited from Hindu and Muslim communities and renowned for their beautiful songs. Using fieldwork and oral and written texts, Jeanne Openshaw analyzes the rise of the Bauls to their present revered status, traversing from the conventional historical and textual approaches towards an ethnographic study of their world, where love and the body are valued and women extolled above men. Her approach is challenging and sympathetic to this spiritual and creative people.

    • Was the first comprehensive English-language treatment of Bauls
    • Interdisciplinary approach to anthropologists, students of religion and cultural history
    • Narrative relies on empirical and textual discussion to interpret the spiritual and cultural practices of a fascinating people
    Read more


    • Winner of the Rabindranath Tagore Memorial Award by Pascimbanga Bangla Akademi (Government of West Bengal, India)

    Reviews & endorsements

    "Openshaw's book introduces freshness to the field of Baul Studies and opens up areas for further exploration as well as a dialogue between and among several discourses. Her work is highly contextual and firmly grounded in her knowledge of Indian philosophy...This book is important not just for scholars of Baul Studies but also for feminists (of both the third and first worlds), post colonialists, and scholars on South Asia."
    -South Asian Review

    "...startling, illuminating, erudite, and absolutely engrossing, it is one of the more original contributions to the field in several years."
    Journal of Anthropoligical Research

    "This is an exciting and ambitious work that sets a new standard for critical scholarship on a group that has suffered from more than its share of mystification and romanticizing. It is a rich and challenging read. Highly recommended for graduate libraries."
    -Brian A. Hatcher, Illinois Wesleyan University, Religious Studies Review

    This book is a tour de force, certainly the best book in English on the subject. It looks at Bauls with fresh eyes, is both thoughtful and thought-provoking, and provides many new insights into the subject. The book reflects Openshaw's dedication to her subject. .... It will no doubt transform the way in which scholars view Bauls. It may even change popular perceptions.'
    Journal of the American Oriental Society

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2002
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521811255
    • length: 304 pages
    • dimensions: 236 x 159 x 26 mm
    • weight: 0.62kg
    • contains: 9 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Background: Literature on 'Bauls' and 'Baul-songs':
    1. 'What's in a name?' The advent of 'the Baul'
    2. The making of 'the Bauls': histories, themes, 'Baul-songs
    Part II. In Search of 'Bauls': 3. Fieldwork in Rarh
    4. Fieldwork in Bagri
    Part III. Received Classifications:
    5. Two shores, two refuges: householder and renouncer
    6. Evading the two shores: the guru
    Part IV. Reworking the Classifications:
    7. Affect: love and women
    8. Theory: images the 'I' and bartaman
    Part V. Practice and Talking about Practice:
    9. Practice (sadhana)
    10. Four moons practice and talking about practice (hari-katha)

  • Author

    Jeanne Openshaw, University of Edinburgh
    Jeanne Openshaw is lecturer in Religious Studies at the University of Edinburgh.


    • Winner of the Rabindranath Tagore Memorial Award by Pascimbanga Bangla Akademi (Government of West Bengal, India)

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.