Notes on traditional South Asian ecology: the “village” and the “forest”
Keywords:space perspective, kṣētra, vana, dualism, conflict, pālṭa bāgha, artistic production
These short notes offer an overview on the two physical and metaphysical dimensions that constitute the space perspective in the Hindu cultural ideology: the reality of kṣētra and vana. The conception of these two realms encompasses a huge quantity of issues that intensively influence the Indian social sphere. This study regards the differences and analogies between kṣētra (the village) and vana (the forest). The dualism presented in this perception demonstrates in which way these contrasting spaces are connected and how they are meant to be in an eternal conflict. The separation is marked by the border’s sign and the conflict is caused by the intrinsic nature of the two dimensions. The orderly features of the village and the chaotic property of the wild nature permeate the social dynamics of life. Considering the complexity of this space interpretation, the following observations will further analyze the topic with an interesting outlook on the Kondh folklore, through a reference to the pālṭa bāgha case. In addition, beyond the representative interference between kṣētra and vana, it is crucial to explore the modality through which the idyllic image of the village has been reflected on the Indian artistic production during the modern era.