1st Edition

Landscape, Ritual and Identity among the Hyolmo of Nepal

By Davide Torri Copyright 2020
    244 Pages
    by Routledge

    244 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book analyses the social, political and religious life of the Hyolmo people of Nepal. Highlighting patterns of change and adaptation, it addresses the Shamanic-Buddhist interface that exists in the animated landscape of the Himalayas.

    Opening with an analysis of the ethnic revival of Nepal, the book first considers the Himalayan religious landscape and its people. Specific attention is then given to Helambu, home of the Hyolmo people, within the framework of Tibetan Buddhism. The discussion then turns to the persisting shamanic tradition of the region and the ritual dynamics of Hyolmo culture. The book concludes by considering broader questions of Hyolmo identity in the Nepalese context, as well as reflecting on the interconnection of landscape, ritual and identity.

    Offering a unique insight into a fascinating Himalayan culture and its formation, this book will be of great interest to scholars of indigenous peoples and religion across religious studies, Buddhist studies, cultural anthropology and South Asian studies.

    Foreword by Graham Harvey


    1 Introduction

    2 Ethnicity and the state. Historical introduction to Nepal’s ethnic revival movements

    3 Notes towards a theory of landscape: from the animist landscape to the Buddhist beyul

    4 Secret and sacred. Yolmo as a beyul

    5 Shamans in Helambu

    6 Ritual dynamics

    7 Identity Matters

    8 Conclusions

    Appendix 1 List of Indigenous Nationalities




    Davide Torri is currently a researcher at the Department of History Anthropology Religions Performing Arts (official English translation of the SARAS [Storia Antropologia Religioni Arte Spettacolo]), at Sapienza University of Rome. In addition, he is associate member of the Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies (Germany) and of the Centre d’Etudes Himalayennes of the CNRS (France). He co-edited Shamanism and Violence: Power, Repression and Suffering in Indigenous Religious Conflicts (2013) and is the author of Il Lama e il Bombo: Sciamanismo e buddhismo tra gli Hyolmo del Nepal (2014).