Introduction: the daughters of Hårit⁄ today
DOI link for Introduction: the daughters of Hårit⁄ today
Introduction: the daughters of Hårit⁄ today book
The Hårit⁄ of our title is the ancient Buddhist goddess of childbirth (Auboyer and de Mallmann 1950: 225; Strong 1992: 36-7). At one time, her cult seems to have been important through much of the vast area covered by our book, which includes studies located in the modern nations of Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia (Maps 1.1 and 1.2). The ‘daughters of Hårit⁄’ are the birth attendants, midwives and female healers of the South and Southeast Asian region. Their fate, in a world very different from that in which the cult of Hårit⁄ took shape, is one central subject of this book. The other, closely related subject is the transformation of childbirth practices now taking place in Asian societies under the impact of modernity and biomedicine.