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Invocation, Possession and Rejuvenation in Upper Tibet The Beliefs, Activities and Lives of Spirit-Mediums Residing in the Highest Land

Bellezza, John Vincent (2018) Invocation, Possession and Rejuvenation in Upper Tibet The Beliefs, Activities and Lives of Spirit-Mediums Residing in the Highest Land. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent, University of Kent. (KAR id:67422)

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Abstract

This dissertation comprehensively examines the hereditary links, ritual practices and pantheon of indigenous deities on which the spirit-mediums of Upper Tibet rely. Known as lha-pa, dpa' bo and lhamo, these specialists in channeling the gods operate in the overlapping Stod and Byang-thang regions of western and midwestern Tibet. This work is based on in-depth interviews and the translation of a variety of Tibetan texts. It utilizes a diachronic model to explicate ethnohistorical dimensions as well as legendary and contemporary aspects of the spirit-mediums through both oral and literary sources. This work, drawing upon a wide range of ethnographic and textual materials to investigate the phenomenon of lha-bzhugs (spirit-possession) in Upper Tibet, analyses the way in which its historical and present-day characteristics are interrelated. Thus, the continuity of the tradition of spirit-mediumship and the way in which it has been conceived and preserved, is the underlying theme giving this work its narrative and analytical coherence.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Alexiades, Miguel
Thesis advisor: Mair, Jonathan
Uncontrolled keywords: spirit-mediums, shamans, Upper Tibet, folk religion, local luminaries, spirit possession, mountain gods
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2018 10:13 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 13:55 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/67422 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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