Depictions of children in pre-modern Indian art

Klaus Karttunen klaus.karttunen at HELSINKI.FI
Wed Jan 27 11:58:39 UTC 2010

Dear Dominik and others,
I have only now time to check what I have under the heading "Children" in my collection of references. Here's the result:

CHAMPION, C. & R. GARCIA: Littérature orale villageoise de l'Inde du nord: chants et rites de l'enfance des pays d'Aoudh et bhojpuri. 330 p. P.E.F.E.O. 153. P. 1989. 
DESHPANDE, G. A. Kamalabhai: The Child in Ancient India. 15+227 p. Poona 1936 (diss. Prague 1931, mainly based on the Dharma- and Gṛhyasūtras). Also E. Waldschmidt, OLZ 40, 1937, 550-552.
KATRE, Sumitra Mangesh: “On some words for ‘child’ in Indo-Aryan”, ABORI 23, 1942, 242-249 (OIA to NIA).
LOMMEL, Hermann: “Vedica und Avestica II. Mutter und Kind bei Mensch und Tier in einigen vedischen Ver­gleichen”, ZII 8, 1931, 274-280.
ROY, Sarat Chandra: “Birth and Childhood Ceremonies amongst the Oraons”, JBORS 1:1, 1915, ??-??.
------            “Birth, childhood and puberty ceremonies among the Birhors”, JBORS 4:2, 1918, ??-??.
SHARMA, Arvind: “Attitudes towards sonship in classical Hinduism and Theravada Buddhism: a comparison”, JOIB 24, 1975, 338-342.
SHASTRI, Veneemadhava: “Child in Prakrit Poems”, JOIB 47:1-2, 1997 (2000), 101-112 (in dramas and lyric anthologies).
STERNBACH, Ludwik: “Juridical Studies in Ancient Indian Law: 8. Infanticide and Exposure of New-born Children”, Poona Or. 13:1-2, 1948, 79-87.
THIEME, Paul: "Über einige Benennungen des Nachkommen", KZ 66, 1939, 130-144.
------            "Weiteres zum indischen Adoptionsritual", KZ 67, 1942, 289 (cf. 1939, 134).
VERPOORTEN, Jean-Marie: “L’enfant dans la littérature rituelle védique (Brāhmaṇa)”, L’enfant dans les civilisations orientales. Acta Orientalia Belgica 2. Leuven 1980, ??-??.


Klaus Karttunen
Professor of South Asian and Indoeuropean Studies
Institute for Asian and African Studies
PL 59 (Unioninkatu 38 B)
00014 University of Helsinki, FINLAND
Tel +358-(0)9-191 22674
Fax +358-(0)9-191 22094
Klaus.Karttunen at

On Jan 23, 2010, at 7:50 PM, Dominik Wujastyk wrote:

> Dear Colleagues,
> Can you point me to a scholarly discussion of this topic?  What are the
> earliest depictions of children in S. Asian art?  What deductions can be
> made about the idea of the child from any such images?  What I'm thinking
> about is the S. A. evidence that might inform a discussion of the "invention
> of childhood".
> Best,
> Dominik

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