Ritual Economy and South Indian Ritual Practice
This tricky situation quickened the interest of the fi rst author Ute Hüsken of this essay. Further discussions with the other author, K.K.A. Venkatachari, Hüsken’s long-term teacher and friend in South India, made them work more systematically on the issue of ritual economy.2 ‘The importance of this kind of ritual distribution lies rather in expressing and negotiating the statuses and selfidentities of the recipients. It thus goes far beyond their monetarian and utilitarian value’ (Good 2004: 22). Taking this as their starting point, the authors present here some thoughts on why the notion of ‘economy’ should be explored further for ritual studies.