More Books from Stephen P. Huyler

Sonabai: Another Way of Seeing

Sonabai: Another Way of SeeingFor 15 years, Sonabai Rajawar lived in total isolation in her central Indian village.Her desperate loneliness drove her to populate the inside of her home with extraordinary sculptures. Decades later, she received national and international attention and the highest awards India can bestow on an artist. Her unusual vision engendered an entire style of art with many contemporary elements.

Daughters of India: Art and Identity

Daughters of India: Art and IdentityThrough engaging storytelling and 250 illuminating photographs, Huyler profiles twenty women from diverse communities, from the rice paddies of southern India to the tea plantations of the Himalayas, from the dry western deserts to the verdant east coast and from tiny villages to enormous cities. They represent everywoman: the traditional and the contemporary, the repressed and the highly innovative, the outcast and the entrepreneur, and from Hindu to Christian to Muslim. These stories, told in the women’s own words, express the innate strength they demonstrate in their battles against adversity.

These women are connected by a single thread: creative expression. Some view themselves as artists while others would be surprised to be identified in this manner, but each woman creatively embellishes her daily or seasonal life. In profiling these remarkable women, author Stephen Huyler expresses many aspects of Indian womanhood: preparation for marriage and leaving the home; the influence of contemporary values; the stigma of unbending customs; the courage to break centuries of tradition; the challenge of entering the marketplace; the removing of veils; and more recently, competition with males in a modern world. Each chapter is evocatively illustrated with photographs of community, environment and art, intimately portraying the lives, activities and rituals of Indian women.

Publisher: Abbeville Press and Mapin Publications
Date: September 2008
Price: $65.00 USD

Rituals As a Path to the Divine

Rituals As a Path to the Divineby Stephen Huyler & Deepak Chopra

World-renowned photographer, cultural anthropologist, and author Stephen Huyler has spent a large part of the last twenty-eight years in the villages of India, documenting the craftsmanship and traditions that began centuries ago. His focus during the past decade has been on the sacred arts and spiritual rituals of practical Hinduism. His books include Meeting God and Gifts of the Earth.

In this tape you will meet Dr. Huyler, learn what led him to India, and listen in as he describes life in India and the rituals that surround it. Together, Huyler and Deepak Chopra clarify the popular misconception that Hinduism is idol worship. “Hinduism is a religion of individual choice,” says Huyler. “In my 28 years in India, I have never once been told that I should believe other than what I believe. This is a religion of thousands of years of development and there are strict dogmas. But the choice of the ritual is your own.”

Through his vivid descriptions of Indian homes, villages, shrines and deities, Huyler takes you on a guided tour that few are privileged to witness and none will ever forget.

Publisher: Hay House, Inc.
Date: April 2002
Price: 10.95 (Amazon.com)
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ISBN 1-56170-841-0

Village India

Village IndiaMost of our limited knowledge of South Asia is focused upon cities and royal cultures, yet close to 80% of the population of India still lives in villages. This first and, as yet, only general survey of the peoples and cultures of rural India is written in a very intimate and approachable manner. The text is enriched by 200 black and white and 100 color photographs. It is, unfortunately, out of print.

Mud, Mirror and Thread: Folk Traditions of Rural India

Mud, Mirror and Thread: Folk Traditions of Rural IndiaOver a five year period, Stephen Huyler worked with Nora Fisher at the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico, to co-curate ‘Mud, Mirror and Thread: Folk Traditions of India’. This extensive catalogue contains two chapters by Huyler and many of his photographs.

Publisher: Museum of New Mexico Pr
Date: September 1994
Paperback: 237 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.75 x 12.25 x 9.25

Gifts of Earth: Terracottas & Clay Sculptures of India

Gifts of Earth Terracottas & Clay Sculptures of IndiaClay is essential to Indian culture past and present. It is accessible everywhere; it takes form with very little effort; and its fragility assures its constant renewal. It has been the perfect vehicle for Indian creativity throughout the ages. The shapes and styles of items made of clay, both fired and unfired, are innumerable. They comprise everything from the miniscule to the gigantic, from simple to highly ornate, from realistic to abstract, from purely practical to utterly fantastic. Many of the potters who make then act dual roles as craftsmen and as links to the god. Their products are often remarkably similar to those found in ancient archaeological sites and many potters believe that they are directly descended from India’s earliest craftsmen.

There are more working potters in India than in any other country of the world – more than 350 thousand! Every community, however small, usually incorporates at least one working potter, while towns and cities have large potting populations. As these craftsmen cater to an extraordinary diversity of subcultures, traditions and environments, their products are usually varied. They make vessels for every conceivable household use; from the simplest clay lamps, cooking pots and food containers, to storage bins eight feet high. They sculpt images to be used in religious ceremonies ranging from tiny figures made form pinches of clay to magnificent horses and elephants over eighteen feet tall, the largest terracottas ever created in the history of humanity.

In a text sumptuously illustrated in colour, the author and photographer, Stephen P. Huyler, surveys this exciting craft through examples from all over India. He documents contemporary potters; their techniques and production, and the use of clay in the households and temples today, exploring comparison of today’s products with those of ancient India. Discovered by the author during nineteen years of extensive travel, research, and photography throughout the Indian subcontinent, most of these sculptures and vessels have never been documented before.

Publisher: Mapin Intl
Date: January 1996
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Painted Prayers: Women's Art in Village India

Painted Prayers: Women's Art in Village IndiaWomen throughout India paint their homes regularly with decorative and sacred designs intended to propitiate the Divine and protect their homes and families. Painted Prayers is the result of 14 years of field research and photography conducted by Stephen Huyler in 7 Indian states. This book, published in three languages, was complemented by an exhibition that traveled throughout the United States, Europe and India. It is, unfortunately, out of print and unavailable from any source.

Publisher: Rizzoli
Date: December 1994
Price: $139.00
203 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.00 x 11.50 x 11.25

Meeting God: Elements of Hindu Devotion

Meeting God: Elements of Hindu DevotionHinduism is the world’s third largest religion after Christianity and Islam. As Hindus become leading proponents of an innovative and contemporary world, their sense of religion and spirituality is not diminished. Hinduism is a belief system in complete harmony with change, modernization, and growth. In the U.S., there are 1.2 million Hindus, yet most Westerners either know little about Hinduism or misunderstand its basic beliefs and rituals.

In MEETING GOD, a new book and national touring exhibition, noted cultural anthropologist, photographer, and art historian Stephen P. Huyler exposes readers to the breadth and vitality of the reverential experience in India. Through hundreds of full-color photographs and evocative commentary, Huyler reveals household and community rituals and festivals that are the mainstay of Hindu life. MEETING GOD: Elements of Hindu Devotion published by Yale University Press (September 1999) is a unique pictorial tour of an India rarely seen by outsiders.

The exhibition MEETING GOD opened at the Houston Museum of Natural Science on September 29, 1999, and will then continued its tour through the end of 2001, stopping at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, the Portland Museum of Art in Maine, and Chicago’s Field Museum.

Since 1971, Stephen Huyler has spent much of his time traveling throughout India documenting craftsmanship and contemporary traditions. During the 1990s, his focus on puja, the Hindu practice of daily devotions, led him to witness many ceremonies and rituals and to share in private and public devotions – transforming experiences that MEETING GOD now documents. On one extraordinary visit, Huyler became the first outsider to a royal family allowed to witness a maharaja’s personal devotion.

Huyler looks at worship within the home, the community, the Temple, during festivals and at sacred processions. Virtually all Hindus, regardless of age, sex, race, subculture, creed, caste, social standing or occupation are diligent in their practice of daily devotion. Huyler describes the wide scope of Hindu beliefs and practices. For example: · women whose “painted prayers” decorate the walls of their homes with intricate sacred patterns and designs; · a community worshipping at an ancient peepul tree, whose roots wind around a large upright stone that represents the village’s protective Goddess; and · the famous festival at the sacred city of Puri, an awesome spectacle viewed by a million people each year, where the Lord Jaganath (from whose name we get the word “juggernaut”), is paraded through the streets on an immense 16-wheeled wooden chariot 45 ft. high, pulled by 4,000 men!

Forward Author: Thomas Moore
Publisher: Yale University Press
Date: September 1999
Price: $19.00
ISBN: 0-300-07983-4 Cloth, 268 pp, 6 7/8 x 10 200 full color illustrations