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The Land, Its Workers, Harvests And Rituals

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Chapter Summary

The agricultural base of Tingchim village has been through a series of important and rapid changes since the 1930s. This chapter introduces these changes and discusses how villagers and their rituals of the land were affected by the new settlers. It shows that land rituals and their inherent shamanic worldview seem to have maintained their importance and even gained a new dimension when faced with an increasing number of threatening outsiders. Harvest rituals are performed biannually by every single Tingchim household. The pawo, the bongthing and the lama successively hold their own part of the ritual, addressing their respective set of supernatural beings in order to secure the blessings of abundant harvests. The Lhopo landowner, the Nepalese labourer and the Indian merchant are the three pillars of the cardamom trade around which Lhopo economic life revolves.

Keywords: harvest rituals; Indian merchant; land rituals; Lhopo landowner; Nepalese labourer; Tingchim village



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