Encountering the Ramlila of Ramnagar: From Fieldnotes in 1978 and 2013

Richard Schechner


These fieldnotes describe both Schechner's 1978 encounter with the Ramlila of Ramnagar, the first time he experienced the entire ritual performance, and his experience in 2013, the most recent time he participated. Included in the notes are some detailed descriptions of the Assighat neighborhood of Varanasi. Schechner lived there during his work on the Ramlila. The thirty-five-year gap will help the reader assess both the continuities and the changes in the Ramlila and the context which it inhabits and from which it comes. The notes are very lightly edited. Schechner's intention in publishing them as raw fieldnotes is to give readers as closely as possible what Schechner actually felt and saw.

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