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Perspectives On The Past

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Chapter Summary

This chapter looks into some aspects of Tingchim's and Sikkim's historical past in order to understand where Tingchim villagers came from, how they lived in the early twentieth century, and in which way their lives were transformed through a series of events that took place in the course of the same century. These economic, political and religious developments influenced the relation between village lamas, bon ritual specialists and knowledgeable outside lamas, which in turn reshaped the face of ritual in the village. These changes also helps to understand in which way the gradual and rather late Buddhacisation of the village contributed to the inhabitants? dependence on the rituals of village religion and the persistence of the shamanic worldview on which these are based. The various origins and times of migration of the Sikkimese Lhopos have not yet been completely established and are still the subject of speculation and debate.

Keywords: bon rituals; Buddhacisation; Sikkimese Lhopos; Tingchim's economic relations; Tingchim's political relations



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