Kama Sutra, Part 1, Chapter 3


A female, therefore, should learn the Kama Shastra, or at least a part of it, by studying its practice from some confidential friend. She should study alone in private the sixty-four practices that form a part of the Kama Shastra. Her teacher should be one of the following persons: the daughter of a nurse brought up with her and already married,1 or a female friend who can be trusted in everything, or the sister of her mother (i.e. her aunt), or an old female servant, or a female beggar who may have formerly lived in the family, or her own sister who can always be trusted. The following are the arts to be studied, together with the Kama Sutra:

  1. Singing
  2. Playing on musical instruments
  3. Dancing
  4. Union of dancing, singing, and playing instrumental music
  5. Writing and drawing
  6. Tattooing
  7. Arraying and adorning an idol with rice and flowers
  8. Spreading and arranging beds or couches of flowers, or flowers upon the ground
  9. Colouring the teeth, garments, hair, nails and bodies, i.e. staining, dyeing, colouring and painting the same
  10. Fixing stained glass into a floor
  11. The art of making beds, and spreading out carpets and cushions for reclining
  12. Playing on musical glasses filled with water
  13. Storing and accumulating water in aqueducts, cisterns and reservoirs
  14. Picture making, trimming and decorating
  15. Stringing of rosaries, necklaces, garlands and wreaths
  16. Binding of turbans and chaplets, and making crests and top-knots of flowers
  17. Scenic representations, stage playing
  18. Art of making ear ornaments
  19. Art of preparing perfumes and odors
  20. Proper disposition of jewels and decorations, and adornment in dress
  21. Magic or sorcery
  22. Quickness of hand or manual skill
  23. Culinary art, i.e. cooking and cookery
  24. Making lemonades, {sherbert|sherbets], acidulated drinks, and spirituous extracts with proper flavour and colour
  25. Tailor's work and sewing
  26. Making parrots, flowers, tufts, tassels, bunches, bosses, knobs, etc., out of yarn or thread
  27. Solution of riddles, enigmas, covert speeches, verbal puzzles and enigmatical questions
  28. A game, which consisted in repeating verses, and as one person finished, another person had to commence at once, repeating another verse, beginning with the same letter with which the last speaker's verse ended, whoever failed to repeat was considered to have lost, and to be subject to pay a forfeit or stake of some kind
  29. The art of mimicry or imitation
  30. Reading, including chanting and intoning
  31. Study of sentences difficult to pronounce. It is played as a game chiefly by women, and children and consists of a difficult sentence being given, and when repeated quickly, the words are often transposed or badly pronounced
  32. Practice with sword, single stick, quarter staff and bow and arrow
  33. Drawing inferences, reasoning or inferring
  34. Carpentry, or the work of a carpenter
  35. Architecture, or the art of building
  36. Knowledge about gold and silver coins, and jewels and gems
  37. Chemistry and mineralogy
  38. Colouring jewels, gems and beads
  39. Knowledge of mines and quarries
  40. Gardening; knowledge of treating the diseases of trees and plants, of nourishing them, and determining their ages
  41. Art of cock fighting, quail fighting and ram fighting
  42. Art of teaching parrots and starlings to speak
  43. Art of applying perfumed ointments to the body, and of dressing the hair with unguents and perfumes and braiding it
  44. The art of understanding writing in cypher, and the writing of words in a peculiar way
  45. The art of speaking by changing the forms of words. It is of various kinds. Some speak by changing the beginning and end of words, others by adding unnecessary letters between every syllable of a word, and so on
  46. Knowledge of language and of the vernacular dialects
  47. Art of making flower carriages
  48. Art of framing mystical diagrams, of addressing spells and charms, and binding armlets
  49. Mental exercises, such as completing stanzas or verses on receiving a part of them; or supplying one, two or three lines when the remaining lines are given indiscriminately from different verses, so as to make the whole an entire verse with regard to its meaning; or arranging the words of a verse written irregularly by separating the vowels from the consonants, or leaving them out altogether; or putting into verse or prose sentences represented by signs or symbols. There are many other such exercises.
  50. Composing poems
  51. Knowledge of dictionaries and vocabularies
  52. Knowledge of ways of changing and disguising the appearance of persons
  53. Knowledge of the art of changing the appearance of things, such as making cotton to appear as silk, coarse and common things to appear as fine and good
  54. Various ways of gambling
  55. Art of obtaining possession of the property of others by means of mantras or incantations
  56. Skill in youthful sports
  57. Knowledge of the rules of society, and of how to pay respect and compliments to others
  58. Knowledge of the art of war, of arms, of armies, etc.
  59. Knowledge of gymnastics
  60. Art of knowing the character of a man from his features
  61. Knowledge of scanning or constructing verses
  62. Arithmetical recreations
  63. Making artificial flowers
  64. Making figures and images in clay

A public woman, endowed with a good disposition, beauty and other winning qualities, and also versed in the above arts, obtains the name of a Ganika, or public woman of high quality, and receives a seat of honour in an assemblage of men. ...


1. The proviso of being married applies to all the teachers

Note: even though the above is noded already in the TKSI3(by ideath, Kama Sutra chapter outline by dem_bones) the 64 arts deserve to stand alone under their own node because they are, IMHO, so damn cool. They are also often referred to in texts and writings as if they were a stand alone list of arts - so here they are.

Source: Kama Sutra, Part 1, Chapter 3, http://www.sacred-texts.com/sex/kama/, this text (as it appears above and as referred to by ideath - it doesn't list all 64 arts) is no longer available at http://www.bibliomania.com/ (as far as I can tell)

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