Religions of South Asia, Vol 10, No 1 (2016)

Sinhala Buddhist Appropriations of Indic Cultural Forms: Literary Imitations and Conquests

Stephen C. Berkwitz
Issued Date: 17 Jan 2017


the development of Sinhala literature and Buddhist culture in Sri Lanka between the tenth and sixteenth centuries ce reveals a complex negotiation of appropriating elements of Indic culture and distinguishing their Sinhala variants. Vernacular traditions of writing and worshipping emphasized the island’s differences from the mainland, despite (or perhaps because of) the invasions and cultural imports from South India. Examining the use of a literary vernacular, praise poetry, and messenger poetry in Sinhala, this article explores medieval Sri Lankan efforts to appropriate and ultimately rival the literary and religious cultures from the neighboring subcontinent.

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DOI: 10.1558/rosa.27959


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