Revival of Indigenous Practices and Identity in 21st Century Inner Asia
Rubin, Amalia Hana
MetadataShow full item record
Scholars and observers have noticed an emerging pattern in the world wherein communities that have suffered a period of cultural and religious repression, when faced with freedom, experience a sudden surge in certain aspects of cultural practice. The most interesting of these are the so-called “involuntary” practices, such as trance, and spontaneous spirit possession. Why is it that, in the period of freedom when many missionary groups, traditional and foreign, arrive to make claims on souls, we see a disproportionate resurgence of indigenous, non-missionary practices? And why especially those practices in which the practitioner has no conscious control? I aim to explore the significance of the revival of indigenous practices, both voluntary and involuntary, their connection to the assertion of cultural identity after a period of intense repression, and their significance to the formation of development and research approaches in such regions. In this paper, I will look at two examples of cultural revival: Böö Mörgöl (commonly referred to as “Mongolian Shamanism” or “Tengerism”) in Ulaanbaatar, Republic of Mongolia, and the revival of Gesar cultural and religious practices in Kham, Tibet, primarily in Yushu, Qinghai province, China.
- East Asian studies