The Misery of the Embodied

Representations of Women in Sinhalese Myth
  • Lorna Rhodes AmaraSingham


Within Sinhalese religion, in both Buddhist doctrinal tradition and mythical traditions associated with village exorcism, women are treated metaphorically as vehicles for impermanence and sorrow. This consistent depiction of women may provide a link between the “great” and “little” traditions through a common metaphor that is expressed more or less concretely in different contexts.* Both practical and doctrinal Sinhalese Buddhism reveal the way in which certain philosophical assumptions about reproductive processes contribute to a negative image of women, and the elaboration of this image in mythology suggests some general questions about the relationship between mythical representations and women’s lives.


Innocent Victim Buddhist Text Human Flesh Origin Myth Buddhist View 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lorna Rhodes AmaraSingham
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Social PsychiatryHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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