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Religion And Conflict Over Land In The Republic Of Altai: Is There A Difference Between Building A Shrine And Creating A Nature Park?

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Chapter Summary

In recent years the Karakol valley, situated in the central part of the Republic of Altai, has become known as the birthplace of one of the most controversial religious and political movements in the Republic, usually named after the valley: the Karakol Akjaymovement. The Altai is a chain of mountains intersected by the state borders of China, Mongolia, Kazakhstan and Russia. The Republic of Altai is located in the Russian part of the Altai Mountains. The Altaians often emphasise that in their religious traditions they do not have any sort of permanent temple-like structures. They do erect stone altars on mountain passes for conducting so-called Altai tagylga?rituals of land worship, to some extent related to oboo rituals in other parts of inner Asia. However, these altars are basically piles of stones, not carefully maintained and far less structured than the obviously man-made Buddhist stupas.

Keywords: Buddhist stupas; Republic of Altai; the Karakol



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