Handling Death: The Dynamics of Death Rituals and Ancestor Rituals Among the Newars of Bhaktapur, Nepal

Genre: Arts
Language: English
Published: April 01, 2005


ISBN13: 9783447051606
ISBN10: 3447051604
Pages: 216

About the Book

An indologist (Axel Michaels) and an architectural historian (Niels Gutschow) have expertly combined their knowledge to describe the funeral rites of the Newar ethnic group in the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal. The ancient city of Bhaktapur and its calendrical rituals of death and renewal is the primary subject of the book's opening section. Following a presentation of the professionals involved in the death and ancestor rites, which is supported by 28 maps, there is an introduction to the urban fabric with its cremation sites, routes of funeral processions, places of spirits, and ancestor deities. The ritual of the deceased's connection with his ancestors is described in detail in the second section and is also captured on a DVD. Also edited and translated are the manuals and local handbooks utilized by the Brahmin priest throughout this rite. The goal of this ethno-Indological method is to comprehend both the agency in rituals and the purpose of the text in settings. It combines textual and contextual methods. Rituals that have been formalized turn out to not be rigid, stereotyped, or unalterable. The authors have named locations, actors, and the time because of how distinctive these elements are. The Collaborative Research Centre Dynamics of Ritual has sponsored a trilogy of studies on Nepal's life-cycle rituals, with the study of death rites serving as the first in the series (Sonderforschungsbereich 619: Ritualdynamik).