The first single volume collection of classic Hindi folktales by translators William Crooke and Pandit Ram Gharib Chaube.
Over a century ago, a British editor collaborated with an Indian folklorist to record the folktales of rural northern India. The resulting collection is a kaleidoscope of popular lore that is colored by colonial assumptions as well as native roots, moods, and meanings.
In 1891, at a time when the study of India was primarily based on ancient texts, coins, and material remains, William Crooke dared to focus on living India—its everyday culture, age-old customs, and fictional narratives. With Pandit Ram Gharib Chaube, he recorded and published, over a period of six years, a remarkable collection of folktales from northern India.
The tales reflect the tapestry of social and personal lives of this region, the epicenter of a revolt against British rule in 1857. Although many of the tales were published in British ethnographic journals, a number of the manuscripts, in Chaube's handwriting, were unpublished; others existed only as old microfilm in a New Delhi library. Never before have they appeared as a single volume or been available in any one library or archive.
• Includes the original versions of over 350 Indian folktales collected in colonial India during the 1890s
• Introduction by Sadhana Naithani provides an overview of William Crooke's methodology and translation practices
• Offers classic folktales from a wide range of original narrators—professional storytellers belonging to the aboriginal races of India, village school teachers, and rural and common people
• Portrays the universal themes common to the various tales
• Includes a detailed introduction placing the tales in context with modern research