Grace of Four Moons: Dress, Adornment, and the Art of the Body in Modern India / Edition 1

Hardcover (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $11.09
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 68%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (12) from $11.09   
  • New (7) from $32.62   
  • Used (5) from $11.09   


Because clothing, food, and shelter are basic human needs, they provide excellent entries to cultural values and individual aesthetics. Everyone gets dressed every day, but body art has not received the attention it deserves as the most common and universal of material expressions of culture. The Grace of Four Moons aims to document the clothing decisions made by ordinary people in their everyday lives. Based on fieldwork conducted primarily in the city of Banaras, India, Pravina Shukla conceptualizes and realizes a total model for the study of body art—understood as all aesthetic modifications and supplementations to the body. Shukla urges the study of the entire process of body art, from the assembly of raw materials and the manufacture of objects, through their sale and the interactions between merchants and consumers, to the consumer's use of objects in creating personal decoration.

Indiana University Press

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

"For folklorists and cultural anthropologists, this is a treasure trove of information. For students of religion, it provides the material reference to the system of beliefs.... Highly recommended." —Choice, September 2008
India Currents Magazine
"The Grace of Four Moons provides a wealth of information about clothing and jewelry as an outlet for women seeking freedom of expression in India, while staying with a traditional framework." —India Currents Magazine, June 18, 2008
Journal of Folklore Research
"The book is skillfully organized, written in a clear, jargon-free, unpretentious style... and it is an outstanding first work by a most promising young scholar." —Charles G Zug III, Journal of Folklore Research, October 15, 2008

— Charles G Zug III

Western Folklore
"Well-researched and well-produced, The Grace of Four Moons is a welcome addition to the scholarly canon for a wide range of academic as well as more popular objectives." —Western Folklore, 69.1, 2010
Journal of Folklore Research - Charles G Zug III
"The book is skillfully organized, written in a clear, jargon-free, unpretentious style... and it is an outstanding first work by a most promising young scholar." —Charles G Zug III, Journal of Folklore Research, October 15, 2008
William Ferris
"Pravina Shukla refines folklore scholarship and its study of material culture through her pioneering work on women and their body art." —William Ferris, co-editor of Encyclopedia of Southern Culture
Gerald Pocius
"Shukla's book will stand as one of the benchmarks for future material culture scholarship." —Gerald Pocius, author of A Place to Belong
From the Publisher
Shukla's book will stand as one of the benchmarks for future material culture scholarship.—Gerald Pocius, author of A Place to Belong
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780253349118
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/2007
  • Series: Material Culture Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 528
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 7.40 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Pravina Shukla is Associate Professor in the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology at Indiana University, where she teaches courses on dress and body art, food, museums, and material culture. She lives in Bloomington, Indiana.

Indiana University Press

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents


Part 1. Introduction
1. Body Art in Banaras
2. Getting Ready
3. Gaze, Sacred and Secular

Part 2. Production and Commerce
4. Shopping for Clothes
5. Weaving Saris
6. Making Jewelry
7. Kanhaiya Lal
8. Shopping along the Vishvanath Gali
9. Assembling Bangle Sets

Part 3. Personal Adornment
10. Nina Khanchandani
11. Neelam Chaturvedi
12. Mukta Tripathi

Part 4. Body Art in the Lifecycle
13. After the Wedding
14. Before the Wedding
15. The Wedding

Part 5. Conclusion
16. The Study of Body Art


Indiana University Press

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)