Religious Studies and Theology, Vol 36, No 1 (2017)

An Interview with a Goddess: Possession Rites as Regulators of Justice Among the Pnar of Northeastern India

Margaret Lyngdoh
Issued Date: 27 Apr 2017

Abstract


This article is based on primary fieldwork carried out between 2012 and 2017 in Chyrmang, Jaintia Hills. Among the Pnar of Jaintia Hills, Northeastern India, the practice of hiar blai or divine possession is significantly embedded in the everyday lives of the community members. I argue that possession rites mediate and regulate social norm and clan justice, through the intercession of the gods and goddesses in the village. The reflexive nature of fieldwork process sought to demonstrate the non-absolute positionality of the researcher, and informants and attempted to find ways how to articulate informant’s voices while at the same time protecting their identities.

Download Media

PDF (Price: £17.50 )

DOI: 10.1558/rsth.33344

References


Gurdon, P.R.T. 1914. The Khasis. London: Macmillan.

Lyngdoh, Margaret. 2016. Transformation, Tradition and Lived Realities: Vernacular Belief Worlds of the Khasis of Northeastern India. Tartu: University of Tartu Press.

Mohrmen, H Helpme. 2008. “U Loh Ryndi: The Founder of the Jaintia Monarch.” http://hhmohrmen.blogspot.com.ee/2008/11/legends-folktales-and-festivals.html

Hiiemäe, Reet. 2016. “Introduction: Belief Narratives and Their Research.” Folklore 65: 7‒10. https://doi.org/10.7592/FEJF2016.65.introduction

Koski, Kaarina. 2008. “Conceptual Analysis and Variation in Belief Tradition: A case of Death- Related Beings.” Folklore 38: 45‒66. https://doi.org/10.7592/FEJF2008.38.koski

Lyngdoh, Sadik. 1985. Khasi Religion: A Study on Historical Perspective. Submitted in Partial Fulfilment for the Degree of Masters in Philosophy. North Eastern Hill University, Shillong, India.

Pirta, R. S. and Ranta, S. 2007. “Social Conflicts and Possession: The Role of Reconciliation Processes Mediated by Local Deities.” Journal of the Indian Academy of Applied Psychology 33(2): 201‒212.

Sax, William S. 2009. God of Justice: Ritual Healing and Social Justice in the Central Himalayas. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Sax, William S. and Basu, Helene. 2015. The Law of Possession: Ritual, Healing, and the Secular State. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Scheid, Claire S. 2015. “Desires of the Recently Dead: Preliminary Observations on Post-Mortem Possession among the Adi of the Eastern Himalayas.” Special Issue: Emerging Adivasi and Indigenous Studies in Ireland. Irish Journal of Anthropology 18(2): 101‒120.

The Shillong Times. 2011. “Family attacked over witchcraft allegations.” http://www.theshillongtimes.com/2011/10/23/family-attacked-over-witchcraft-allegations/

The Shillong Times. 2014. “Mob kills brother, sister; 2 more hurt.” http://www.theshillongtimes.com/2014/05/27/mob-kills-brother-sister-2-more-hurt/

The Shillong Times. 2016. “Man murdered, wife critical in mob attack.” http://www.theshillongtimes.com/2016/02/22/man-murdered-wife-critical-in-mob-attack/

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.





Equinox Publishing Ltd - 415 The Workstation 15 Paternoster Row, Sheffield, S1 2BX United Kingdom
Telephone: +44 (0)114 221-0285 - Email: info@equinoxpub.com

Privacy Policy