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9780195069792

Mountain Goddess Gender and Politics in a Himalayan Pilgrimage

Mountain Goddess Gender and Politics in a Himalayan Pilgrimage
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  • ISBN-13: 9780195069792
  • ISBN: 019506979X
  • Publication Date: 1991
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated

AUTHOR

Sax, William S.

SUMMARY

Every few decades, thousands of Hindu villagers in the Central Himalayas of North India carry their regional goddess Nandadevi in a bridal palanquin to her husband Shiva's home, walking barefoot over icebound mountain passes to a lake surrounded by human bones. This Royal Pilgrimage of Nandadevi is a ritual dramatization of the post-marital journeys of married women from their natal homes to their husbands' homes. Mountain Goddess is an anthropological study of this pilgrimage and the cult of Nandadevi, especially as they relate to local women's lives. The author shows how Nandadevi's appeal stems from the fact that her mythology parallels the life-courses of the local peasant women, and that her ritual procession imitates their annual journey to the village of their birth. Drawing on formal Indian theories, verbal commentaries, songs, interviews, articles, propaganda, legends, pan-Indian Sanskrit liturgies, historical documents, and the author's remarkable personal account of the pilgrimage, this gripping narrative is a unique resource for courses in the anthropology of religion, Hinduism, and folklore, ritual, and gender studies.Sax, William S. is the author of 'Mountain Goddess Gender and Politics in a Himalayan Pilgrimage', published 1991 under ISBN 9780195069792 and ISBN 019506979X.

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