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植民地経験の表象としてのハヴェーリー : 英領インドにおける商業集団マールワーリーの文化交渉実践


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  • Haveli as Representation of the Colonial Experience: The Practice of Cultural Interaction of the Marwari Community in British India


The examination of modernity in Asia is often accompanied by the evaluation of the colonial experience and its reflection on postcoloniality. Among Asian experience of colonialism, that of India may have influenced highly on the awakening of identity in different levels of the world. Of various facets of colonial experience of India, this paper focuses on the mercantile community of India called Marwari. The recent development of Indian economy highly owed to conglomerates, among which not a few leading firms such as Birlas and Bajajs are from this community. Their ancestors left their homes in the barren region of Shekhawati in north India, and made their fortunes in the nineteenth-century colonial cities. From the early twentieth century, they gradually entered into industry and developed into conglomerates. While the preceding studies on the Marwari community have been led mainly by the fields of economic history and anthropology, aiming to understand the characteristics of their moral economy, this paper argues on their cultural practices from an art-historical perspective, particularly on their residential mansions called havelis.Living in humble style in colonial cities or their economic headquarters, the Marwaris spent their fortunes for philanthropic deeds in the form of architectural projects such as havelis, temples, and wells in their hometowns of Shekhawati, dating between the 1830s and 1930s. Famous for their colourful mural paintings, it has been generally considered that havelis were the visual spectacles of the Marwaris to show off their economic success to the eyes of their hometowns. It may be likely that havelis were cultural devices that were strategically created for self-representation of the Marwaris in thecolonial economy. However, it may be questionable to see the haveli construction of the Marwaris continued on the basis of a single intention for about a hundred years, even though colonial Indiaduring this period experienced drastic changes from British high imperialism to national movement. This paper attempts to see those changes through mural representations of havelis, thereby the characteristics of coloniality in Asia and its reflection on postcoloniality are substantiallyunderstood. The paper firstly defines as to who the Marwaris are. Secondly, the reason why the Marwaris invested their fortunes in the hometowns rather than the economic headquarters is argued. Thirdly, the mural paintings on havelis are analysed according to their subject matters, and those mural paintings and its relation with contemporary visual culture are discussed. And lastly, the making of identity of the Marwari community in different stages of colonial India is revealed.


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