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Σεμινάρια της Τετάρτης του τμ. Κοιν. Ανθρωπολογίας: «Kirati conceptions of person, life, death, and life after death in the northeast Nepal Himalayas»

Λογότυπο του Παντείου Πανεπιστημίου & του τμήματος Κοινωνικής Ανθρωπολογίας

Αυτή την Τετάρτη, 30 Νοεμβρίου, στα διαδικτυακά Σεμινάρια της Τετάρτης, 15.00-17.00, καλεσμένος μας είναι ο Hom Prasad Rai (Tribhuvan University, Nepal),  και ο τίτλος της παρουσίασής του είναι:

«Kirati conceptions of person, life, death, and life after death in the northeast Nepal Himalayas».

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The concepts of Lawa, saya, and niwa in the Arun valley | Hom Prasad Rai


Yakkhaba Kiratis and Shingsaba Bhote are indigenous peoples of the Arun valley, northeast Nepal. Their ritualistic practices and oral forms of sacred knowledge, commonly known as ritualistic chanting, mindum, pellam, pidam, not only articulates a distinct cultural history and identity but also weave the meaning of what it means to be humans in this world and spirits in the other world. Despite this fact, such knowledge has been muted or degraded by centuries of internal colonialism and cultural imperialism in the name of superstitions. Several anthropological studies on Kirati and Shingsaba Bhote also say little about the philosophical assumptions of lawa, saya, and niwa. The main purpose of this paper is to explore ontological, epistemological, metaphysical, and philosophical aspects of Yakkhaba Kirati concepts of lawa, saya, niwa, and soɁma. In this paper, I will argue that life, illness and death, and the overall well-being of a man depend on the relational, but the complex whole of saya, lawa, and niwa. I will also argue that these four concepts are inevitable to the understanding of Kirati’s concepts of life and well-being, illness and death, and the afterworld, suggesting that these concepts are a common thread that cuts across the ethnicity and religions in the Himalayas.

[Key words: life, death, soul, lawa, saya, niwa, ancestral beings, soga, suiɁma, suktu, siɁla, mindum, and khamang-yimik.]

Short Biographical Note

Since 2017, Hom Prasad Rai (Yamphu) is a Lecturer at the Department of Anthropology, Tribhuvan University, Patan Multiple Campus, Patan Dhoka, Lalitpur, Kathmandu, Nepal. Before that he worked as a Teaching Assistant in the same department for more than six years (from 2011 to 2016). He completed his MPhil in Anthropology from Tribhuvan University in 2014, doing fieldwork in Yamphu Kirat and Shingsaba Bhote people in the Upper Arun valley, northeast Nepal. Dissertation title: Mindum: Account of Yamphu origin and indigeneity. Currently, he is pursuing his doctoral study in anthropology at the same university. His research project title is The Kirat and Tibetan interface: Comparative ethnographic study of the Kirati and Shingsaba people in the upper Arun valley. His project focuses on the relationship between Shingsaba Bhote, a Trans-Border people, and Yakkhaba Kirati in the Upper Arun valley, northeast Nepal. The project aims to explore and explain the Kirat-Tibetan interface through historical, religious, and cultural interconnections between two distinct ethnic groups, Kirati and Bhote in the Upper Arun valley, northeast Nepal. His main research interest includes trans-borderland peoples in the eastern Himalayan regions, trans-border ethnic, cultural, religious, social and historical interface, local history and memory, oral traditions, identity and indigeneity, place making, dominance and cultural resistance, politics of infrastructure development and knowledge production. His published works include खोɁवालुङः )कराती उ/गम भूमी [KhoɁwalung: The place of Kirati origin] (भोगीराज चाि7लङ स7पा)कत , बेला < ि◌◌ाशन , 2022); कमनि् ◌◌ुमः या7फु) करात इकतहास सEयता र ि◌शशन [Midum: Yamphu Kirat history, civilization, and philosophy] भोगीराज चाि7लङ स7पा)कत , 2019; थाɁGङः या7फु चुलो [ThaɁrum: Yamphu Hearth] (तारा मकन राई र भोगोराज चाि7लङ स7पा)कत , 2018); The Narrative of Chawa: Yamphu Notion of Self-governance, Territoriality, and Local Identity, (Adroit Publishers, 2017); Pellam: A Cultural Way of Making Self-sovereign People (Central Department of Anthropology, 2016)

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