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


Affiliations
1 Dept. of History, University of Delhi, Delhi, India
     

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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.

Keywords

Early Mughal, Turko-Mongol, Power, Feasts, Hierarchy, Food Symbolism, Mughal Women.
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  • Feasts and Food Symbolism in the Court Culture of the Early Mughals (1504-1605 CE)

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Authors

Anku Bharadwaj
Dept. of History, University of Delhi, Delhi, India

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.

Keywords


Early Mughal, Turko-Mongol, Power, Feasts, Hierarchy, Food Symbolism, Mughal Women.