Encounter, Engagement, and Object Stories

Steve Brown, Ursula Frederick, Anne Clarke

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    Abstract

    The brass bell was made in India using traditional metalworking methods, but it was not Indian' in shape, decoration, or message; in other words, it was not made for local consumption. Sajjan Sarna's Indian world could be considered another riotous and subversive example of Marshall Sahlins' inventiveness of tradition, an expression of externally stimulated cultural genesis, in the specific terms that Sarna wished to convey. The India' that Sarna promoted and prospered from was not imported with the bells but rather a complex amalgam largely invented by him in response to his American customers' desires. Sarna learned how to play the game; his natural entrepreneurial skills were grafted onto American practice to the extent that he sought legal protection of the tradition' behind some of his most popular bell designs. Sarna conflated his own individual scale of inventiveness with a larger cultural expression, and the resulting bell designs reflect a fluid mixing of American and Indian meanings.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationObject Stories: Artifacts and Archaeologists
    Editors Steve Brown; Anne Clarke; Ursula Frederick
    Place of PublicationWalnut Creek, CA
    PublisherLeft Coast Press
    Pages13-27
    Edition1
    ISBN (Print)9781611323849
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

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