|Published:||December 19, 2012|
The third and final volume on Buddhist and Hindu life-cycle rites among the Newars of Nepal's historic city of Bhaktapur is titled "Getting Married." In-depth fieldwork, edition, and translation of pertinent ritual handbooks are all included in one project. The dynamics of death and ancestor rituals were the focus of the first volume, Handling Death, and the rituals of childhood, adolescence, and youth—particularly the male and female initiation rituals—were the focus of the second volume, Growing Up. The current volume discusses a number of marriage-related rituals. Following a brief survey of previous studies on marriage customs in Nepal, the authors discuss the fundamental marriage laws of the Hindu and Buddhist Newars, Bhaktapur's endogamy and exogamy issues, as well as the social structure and hierarchy of the city. They give a thorough account of the Hindu and Buddhist marriage rituals practiced by Newars (partially documented on the DVD that comes with this book), and they draw pertinent conclusions about life-cycle rituals in general and the position that marriage rituals hold in Newar society and Hinduism. The academic community has praised these beautifully illustrated books for their innovative attempt to present a thorough ethno-indological examination of all significant life-cycle rituals of a particular Hindu and Buddhist group.