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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences - Institute of Asian and African Studies

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences | Department of Asian and African Studies | Regional Departments | Central Asian Seminar | Events_News | 16.01.TIBET COLLOQUIUM: "Embodiment and the Intangible: Ritual dance among the Rai of Eastern Nepal"

16.01.TIBET COLLOQUIUM: "Embodiment and the Intangible: Ritual dance among the Rai of Eastern Nepal"

Central Asian Seminar
When Jan 16, 2018 from 06:00 PM to 08:00 PM (Europe/Berlin / UTC100) iCal
Where IAAW, Invalidenstr. 118, room 507

Contributor: Dr. Marion Wettstein (Bern)

 

The  Rai  who  pin  down  their  belonging  to  Eastern  Nepal  have  become  known  in  the  last  few  decades  for  a particular ritual circle dance, the sakela dance. It is composed of sequences of gestural units that relate to cultural techniques such as weaving or agricultural work, or imitate the movements of animals. Traditionally performed in the villages for a sakela (or bhume) goddess before harvest, and sometimes also before sowing, this dance is also  performed  in  bigger  cities,  in  Kathmandu  and  in  other  Diasporas since  some  years,  and  is  meanwhile considered the ‘Rai national dance’. Based on field research of the last 15 years, this presentation highlights the themes that are acted out in the gestural units of the dance, relates them to the intangible mythological concepts that are embodied with it, and asks: Can we transmit this relation between embodiment and the intangible to the contemporary  context,  in  which  the  sakela  dance  has  become  a  bodily  practice  of  ethnic  identity?  Can  an intangible concept that is embodied and therefore corporeal actually be called intangible, or do we have to break with such basic categories of distinction?

 

Marion  Wettstein is  an  anthropologist  and  scientist  of  religions  at  the  University  of  Bern,  Switzerland.  Her geographical focus is in the Eastern Himalayas, especially Nepal and Northeast India, with a special interest in religion, ritual, mythology, practice, performance, and materiality.

 

 

Tuesday, 16. Jan. 2018, 6 pm c. t.

Central Asian Seminar,  room 507

  Invalidenstr. 118   10115 Berlin

(U6  Naturkundemuseum,  S-Bhf Nordbahnhof)

 

 

Guests are welcome!