The cultural idiom of Tīj has acquired a canonical status in Nepal. The archetypal Tīj can be seen as a metaphor of patriarchal space politics: patriarchy naturalizes women's displacement from their biological family to the conjugal one. This paper seeks to critically examine Nepali women's relationship with androcentric spatiality. In the classical Tīj songs, women's critique of patriarchal spatiality is ambivalent: their critique is caught between conformity and contestation. The critique of patriarchal space in classical Tīj songs can be seen as an indigenous canon of women's articulation and protest. In the contemporary songs, Nepali women's radical remapping of the physical as well as the cultural geography underscores the distance of Tīj from the archetypal to the feminist—creating a distinctive gynocentric spatiality. As we further examine recent tectonic shifts experienced by Tīj under the impact of globalization and global consumerism in the first decade of the twenty-first century, we can see Nepali women moving away from the fight to create a feminist space to the celebration of a distinctive female space: the spatial shift of Tīj from the original patriarchal to the feminist to the urban female enacts Nepali women's ability to transcend and subvert the patriarchal spatiality inherent in the originary Tīj.


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pp. 80-109
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