Le ghunghat dévoilé. Voile, corps et société en Inde du Nord

Abstract : Ghunghat is a veiling practice specific to North India. Its peculiarity lies in the fact that it is non religious, though it can be observed by women of all confessions, Hindu, Muslim or Sikh, but not by all women. The woman lowers the veil that rests on her head in front of certain individuals of her affines but never before her consanguines. It varies according to cast, social class, education level, places of residence in most of North India except in Punjab where it has disappeared about fifteen years ago. It gives information about the relationships that a woman has with the people around her. It reveals the social and family organization of the Nothern Indian subcontinent : arranged marriage, patrilocal residence in joint family, hierarchy, asymetry of status between wife givers and receivers. It can be seen as an extension of a woman’s body, thus informing about its representations, as well as aesthetics, and gender relations. The veil thus appears as a « total social fact » revealing the family and social relationships as well as the representations over the women’s bodies, where not only bodies but also objets are covered, especially in the context of sacredness. An ethnological study of ghunghat allows to create new tools in order to reconsider the undestanding of the veil in other contexts, in particular in the French context, through a comparative perspective.
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Laurence Lécuyer. Le ghunghat dévoilé. Voile, corps et société en Inde du Nord. Sociologie. Université Sorbonne Paris Cité, 2018. Français. ⟨NNT : 2018USPCF030⟩. ⟨tel-02127904⟩

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