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ABSTRACT: Cultivation of the bodily skills required in cavalry warfare was a prominent theme in India's pre-colonial societies. Demand for these expertises enabled fighting specialists to develop an India-wide network of patronage and employment. Wrestling and its associated exercises became the indispensable accompaniment to military preparation in the early modern period. Appreciation of the wide social diffusion of these expertises also allows for a better understanding of colonial demilitarization, the displacement of important cultures of the body, as well as the loss of mobility and honorable employment.
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