1st Edition

Death and Dying in Northeast India Indigeneity and Afterlife

Edited By Parjanya Sen, Anup Shekhar Chakraborty Copyright 2024
    240 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge India

    240 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge India

    This book formulates a new pedagogy of death with regard to Northeast India and shows how this pedagogy offers an understanding of alternative knowledge systems and epistemes.

    In documenting a range of customs and practices pertaining to death, dying and the afterlife among the diverse ethnic communities of Northeast India, the book offers new soteriological, epistemological, sociological and phenomenological perspectives on death. Through an examination of these eschatological practices and their anthropological, theological and cultural moorings, the book aims to reach an understanding of notions of indigeneity with regard to Northeast India. The contributors to this book draw upon a range of subjects— from songs, literary texts, monuments, relics and funerary objects to biographies to folktales to stories of spirit possessions and supernatural encounters. It collates the research of scholars primarily from Northeast India, but also from Eastern India and offers an interdisciplinary analysis of these various belief systems and practices.

    This book will of interest to those researchers and scholars interested in South Asia in general and Northeast India in particular, and also to those interested in the social anthropology of religion, cultural studies, indigenous studies, folklore studies and Himalayan studies.

    Introduction- Death and Dying in Northeast India: Indigeneity and Afterlife - Parjanya Sen, Anup Shekhar Chakraborty 1. The Thenness and Nowness of Rituals of Passage Among the Zo Christians: Death as Collective Engagement- Anup Shekhar Chakraborty 2.  Mortuary Beliefs and Practices Among the Khasi Tribe of Meghalaya- Rekha M. Shangpliang 3. The Rhetoric of Death and Dying: the Khasi and Karbi Context- Margaret Lyngdoh 4.  Imageries of Life and Death: The Case of Kombirei - Rekha Konsam 5. The Death Rituals: An Analysis of the Socio-Religious Practices of Death in Bodo Society- Junmani Basumatary, Sudev Chandra Basumatary 6.  The Men were Heroes while the Women were Victims: Commemorating the Mizo National Front Movement- Mary Vanlalthanpuii 7. War and the Dead: Funerary rites, Mourning and Commemorating Second World War deaths in Northeastern India- Deepak Naorem 8. Navigating Death in Diaspora: Easterine Kire’s Nagaland- Pritha Banerjee 9. Death rituals: An Insight into the Naga Ancestral Religion- Vishü Rita Krocha 10. No Rest for our Ancestors in Museums: Unpacking the Preliminary Impressions from the Repatriation Process of Naga Ancestral Remains- Talilula 11. The Body in Myth and Practice: Symbols of Death in Yumaism- Vishakha Syangden 12. Dialogue with the Shindré: Death Rituals Among the Lhopo of Sikkim- Kikee D. Bhutia 13. Corporeal Traces and Sacred Lives: Examining the Mummified Relic of Kalu Rinpoche in Sonada, Darjeeling- Parjanya Sen


    Anup Shekhar Chakraborty is Assistant Professor in Political Science and Political Studies at the Netaji Institute for Asian Studies and a member of Mahanirban Calcutta Research Group (MCRG), Kolkata.  He was the recipient of IPSA National Young Political Scientist Award 2020; the IDRC, DEF, and IDF ‘India Social Science Research Award’ (2009) and was the C.R. Parekh Fellow (2011-2012) at Asia Research Centre, London School of Economics & Political Science. He has researched on the Zo/Mizo people and has published extensively in this area.

    Parjanya Sen is Assistant Professor in English at Deshbandhu College for Girls, University of Calcutta. He completed his Ph.D. from the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta on the cultural geography of Buddhism in colonial Bengal and was awarded the Ashok Mitra Prize for the best Ph.D. thesis, 2021. A section of his thesis has been published as a chapter in Religion and the City in India (2022). He was also Nehru Trust Visiting Fellow for the Indian Collections at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (2014-15).