WINGED STALLIONS AND WICKED MARES: THE HORSE IN INDIAN MYTH AND HISTORY BY WENDY DONIGER

January 20, 2021

Horses are not indigenous to India. And yet, folklore and popular culture are full of stories about them. In this fascinating book, Doniger, who has been called ‘the greatest living mythologist’, examines the horse’s significance throughout Indian history, from the arrival of the Indo-Europeans, followed by the people who became the Mughals (who imported Arabian horses) and the British (who imported thoroughbreds and Walers). Along the way, we encounter the tensions between Hindu stallion and Arab mare traditions, the imposition of European standards on Indian breeds, the reasons why men ride mares to weddings, the motivations for murdering Dalits who ride horses, and the intriguing myth of foreign horses who emerge from the ocean to fertilize native mares.

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