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Research Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences
Year : 2015, Volume : 6, Issue : 4
First page : ( 255) Last page : ( 268)
Print ISSN : 0975-6795. Online ISSN : 2321-5828.
Article DOI : 10.5958/2321-5828.2015.00034.0

Feasts and Food Symbolism in the Court Culture of the Early Mughals (1504–1605 CE)

Bharadwaj Anku*

Research Scholar, Dept. of History, University of Delhi, Delhi

*Corresponding Author: Anku Bharadwaj, Research Scholar, Dept. of History, University of Delhi, Delhi. E Mail- ankubharadwaj@gmail.com

Online published on 22 March, 2016.

Abstract

In Mughal India, feasts were occasions of lavish ritual activity centred on the communal consumption of food and drink. Practices concerning the exchange, distribution and consumption of food were deeply enmeshed with the political processes and powerful imagery. This paper attempts to explore the relations of early Mughal feasting practices with the political culture, social identities and gender relations, in the time of the first three Mughal kings, Babur (1487–1530), Humayun (1508 -1556) and Akbar (1556 -1605). It also examines the extent to which the Turko-Mongol traditions influenced the practices of feasting and festivities in early Mughal period and the transition of the feasting culture with time. Early Mughal gastronomy has been explored to understand the complexity of meanings and deep symbolic significance, as well.

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Keywords

Early Mughal, Turko-Mongol, power, feasts, hierarchy, food symbolism, Mughal women.

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