The Horse: Conspicuous Consumption of Embodied Masculinity in South Asia, 1600-1850
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In this dissertation, I analyze the role the horse and horse culture played in early modern South Asia through the lens of the genre of horse treatises (<italic>farasnama</italic>) produced in the Subcontinent in Persian. My analysis of the <italic>farasnama</italic> ties in directly with the new analyses of the Mughal Empire as a dynamic imperial formation fueled by the upward mobility of peasant and pastoral groups working together with elite groups in Indian society who had command over complex economic and bureaucratic systems. The horse trade moved through these systems, supporting and extending the cultural norms on which these relationships were based. Even without crunching the numbers of the astonishing economic and political scale of this trade, one begins to get a sense of how truly extensive the cultural systems were that supported it, and how critical these same cultural systems were to maintaining the political power of the warrior elite.
- History