pclaus at pclaus at
Sat Sep 11 19:44:54 UTC 1993

I am a new member of this list and would like to introduce
myself. My name is Peter Claus.  I am an anthropologist.  I have
worked on oral traditions in southern India for over twenty
years.  Most of my work has been on the Dravidian language, Tulu,
spoken in coastal Karnataka. 
My interests have centered on a sung narrative genre called
paddana in Tulu. I have also worked on folktales.  I am a co-
editor of _Folktales of India_ (U. of Chicago Press) and _Oral
Epics in India_ (U. of California Press) and have published
papers on the interpretation of cultural phenomena using oral
tradition as well as on the textual analysis of oral tradition. 
I am currently co-editing (with Margaret Mills) an encyclopedia
of South Asian folklore (Garland).  We are looking for
contributors.  We will be at the Amer. Folk. Soc. meetings and
could further information to anyone interested in this project.
My current research interest is on performance traditions of
pastoral peoples of western Karnataka (in Kannada) and eastern
Andhra Pradesh (in Telugu).  Most of these traditions combine
song, prose narrative, instrumentation, a variety of interesting
"props" (scrolls, wooden images, temple-boxes, cloth murals,
etc.) and minimally costumed dance-song-story presentations. I
would be very interested to hear from others who have worked on
these kinds of performance traditions in India or elsewhere in
the world.
I have also worked extensively with several archives developing
in India.  These are archives of audio and video tapes,
photography.  They contain very extensive collections of folklore
(drama, ethnomusicology, tales, ritual, and the like) from their
respective regions. I would be happy to serve as an source for
anyone wanting more information on any of these.

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