Sati. From “Sati” Online Source: http://chnm.gmu.edu/wwh/modules/lesson5/lesson5.php?s=0 The status of widows in many societies has been precarious, because the deaths of husbands removed the primary source of their economic well-being as well as control over their sexuality
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-Background to the Primary Source (Letter, Francois Bernier)
-The Primary Source – Letter dated October 4, 1667 to Monsieur Jean Chapelain that is entitled “Describing the Superstitions, strange customs, and Doctrines of the Indous or Gentiles [Hindus] of Hindoustan”
-“From which it will be seen that there is no Doctrine too strange or too improbable for the Soul of man to conceive”
-Excerpts from the Letter
“As I was leaving Sourate [Surat] for Persia, I witnessed the devotion and burning of another widow…She was of middle age, and by no means uncomely. I do not expect…to convey a full idea of the brutish boldness…of her undaunted step…of the look of confidence…of her lofty carriage…placed her deceased husband’s head in her lap, took up a torch, and with her own hand lighted the fire within, while I know not how many Brahmens were busily engaged in kindling it without…”