The Dholki: Vernacular Social Tradition in West Punjab



Bhatti, Lina

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This thesis describes the vernacular tradition of the dholki, a common wedding event with song and singing. The dholki is framed in a context of a male-dominated religious society and has the propensity to be utilized as a flexible vehicle for the dissemination of religious and spiritual thought, worship, or rulings. The process of writing this thesis started with ethnographic fieldwork in Lahore in the summer of 2021, where the author spoke to a variety of women at the Bibi Pak Daman shrine. This thesis places the dholki within the study of vernacular tradition in the Punjab and broader South Asia. Through a deconstruction of the event, its context, and the songs and beats that women utilize during the event, I argue that the dholki provides a flexible vehicle through which women are able to disseminate, adapt, permeate, and transform religiosity and spirituality.



South Asia, Sufi, Dholki, Social vernacular, Qawwali