Hail to the Chief?: The politics and poetics of a Rajasthani ‘child sacrifice’

  title={Hail to the Chief?: The politics and poetics of a Rajasthani ‘child sacrifice’},
  author={Jeffrey G. Snodgrass},
  journal={Culture and Religion},
  pages={104 - 71}
  • J. Snodgrass
  • Published 1 March 2004
  • Psychology
  • Culture and Religion
In this paper, I examine a birth ritual practised by a community of low‐status entertainers from the Indian state of Rajasthan known as Bhats. On the birth of sons, but not daughters, Bhats offer gifts to the Hindu god Bhaironji, a pan‐Indian boss of the underworld. Specifically, they sacrifice a goat, extract its stomach, slice it open so that it forms a gaping slit, and pass their wailing newborn through the dripping opening seven times. This ritual, which I interpret as a symbolic child… 
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