[INDOLOGY] sources on markers of girls' transition to adulthood

Olivelle, J P jpo at austin.utexas.edu
Sat Sep 5 00:08:17 UTC 2020

The most straightforward statement in Kauṭilya’s Arthaśāstra 3.3.1:

A woman 12 years old has reached the age for legal transactions (vyavahāra), as also
a man 16 years old.



On Sep 4, 2020, at 5:23 PM, Sundari Johansen Hurwitt via INDOLOGY <indology at list.indology.info<mailto:indology at list.indology.info>> wrote:

Hi all,

I am looking for sources that explore the age at which a girl traditionally becomes an adult woman (meaning, she transitions into defacto adulthood by the standards of the time) in Hindu culture, prior to the 19th century. I'm already aware of the Indian Penal Code setting the age of consent for marriage for girls at 10 years old in 1860, and the history following that.

In particular I'm looking for primary and/or secondary literature that mention bodily processes, rites of passage, age, or other markers of that transition to adulthood.

Many thanks!


Sundari Johansen Hurwitt
sundari.johansen at gmail.com<mailto:sundari.johansen at gmail.com>
sjohansen at ciis.edu<mailto:sjohansen at ciis.edu>

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