Vernacular Knowledge - Contesting Authority, Expressing Beliefs - Ülo Valk

Vernacular Knowledge - Contesting Authority, Expressing Beliefs - Ülo Valk

14. Dealing with the Dead: Vernacular Belief Negotiations Among the Khasi of North Eastern India

Vernacular Knowledge - Contesting Authority, Expressing Beliefs - Ülo Valk

Margaret Lyngdoh [+-]
University of Tartu
Margaret Lyngdoh, University of Tartu, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Institute of Cultural Research, received her PhD in 2016 from the University of Tartu, Estonia. She studied at Ohio State University, Columbus, USA; University College Cork, Ireland; and the University of Tartu, Estonia. She was awarded the position of "Albert Lord Fellow, 2016" at the Centre for Studies in Oral Tradition, University of Missouri. She also received the prestigious Estonian Research Council Grant for her post doctoral research PUTJD746 on the topic, "Tradition and Vernacular Discourses in the Context of Local Christianities in Northeastern India in 2017. She is also editor for the Journal of the International Society for Folk Narrative Research (ISFNR). Her research interests include indigenous folklore, tradition, indigenous ontologies with theoretical focus on current ‘turns’ in anthropology, the study of religion and the folkloristics of vernacular religion.

Description

This article will attempt to show how articulated beliefs and practices are ‘reframed’ among Khasi, using the primary tradition–trope of funerary customs in context of Christian and those who follow the ‘indigenous religion’. While death occupies a central position in the life–cycle of a Khasi, rituals relating to death are context-specific. The stereotyping and marginalisation of specific groups of people on the basis of mortuary rites will be shown through empirical data derived from fieldwork. Death is a generic resource, and this article will show how it shapes the Khasi ‘ontology’ inclusive of societies of the human and non-human. I clarify that this article analyses narratives about death, dying, and reanimation, I do not target or malign specific clans or communities. Rather, I look at negotiations as expressed in narratives that discuss bad deaths and fulfilment of death rituals and how these narratives enforce the othering and marginalisation of communities and groups among the Khasi.

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Citation

Lyngdoh, Margaret. 14. Dealing with the Dead: Vernacular Belief Negotiations Among the Khasi of North Eastern India. Vernacular Knowledge - Contesting Authority, Expressing Beliefs. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 339-360 Oct 2022. ISBN 9781781792377. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=29223. Date accessed: 03 Feb 2023 doi: 10.1558/equinox.29223. Oct 2022

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