restricted access 18. Making Claims to Tradition: Poetics and Politics in the Works of Young Maithil Painters

Using ethnography based on young folk artists from Mithila, Bihar, this chapter explores the question - 'What does it mean to inherit a tradition?' Are these young artists merely passive carriers of traditional templates and if not then how do anthropologists conceptualise novelty within the traditional arts? Inspired by Veena Das's work on children and her discussion of Wittgenstein on what it means to follow a rule, this chapter adds to her work on voice and culture.