Nepal

Nepal – An ethnically and religiously diverse country bordered by Tibet and India. Hindu, Buddhist, and animist Nepalese may employ shamans or attend shamanic performances for healing or mediation with ancestors and significant other-than-human persons, especially when dealing with death. Among those who have been considered shamans are the jhankri and dhami. Stan Mumford discusses the roles of Tibetan lamas and Garung shamans in Nepal, considering their “exchanges with the under world, demon exorcism, recalling the soul, and the famed guiding of consciousness in the Tibetan death rite.” Charlotte Hardman’s publications, especially about the Lohorung Rai, provide detailed information about shamanic cosmologies, methods, and tools in the context of a careful consideration of indigenous approaches to emotion and understandings of selfhood.

Piers Vitebsky points to a distinction between the practices of the Himalayan Nepalese and those of the southern lowlands, in which only the former “journey” while the latter invite possession. Nepal is among the destinations for shamanism tourists who have paid particular attention to the Gosainkunda Lake pilgrimages that attract Nepalese Hindus for a full-moon celebration that also involves shamanic initiations accompanied by drumming.

SOURCE:

Historical Dictionary of Shamanism by Graham Harvey and Robert J. Wallis 2007

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