About the Book
This 288 page book is a reproduction of David Kane’s 2008 doctoral thesis on puthi-poṛa, a Bengali tradition of book and manuscript reading. Kane’s thesis pursues two central aims. The first is ethnographic: to provide a documentation and description of puthi-poṛa as it was performed in Sylhet, Bangladesh, in 2005. The second is historical: to shed light on a historical mystery—how Islam spread so rapidly and pervasively in Bengal from the sixteenth century. Kane’s hypothesis is that puthi-poṛa was used in this process.