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Life And Ritual Cycles Of Household Members

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Chapter Summary

This chapter looks at various factors which have brought considerable changes to Lhopo household composition in recent decades and the forces which are having a direct impact on the relative household wealth and occupation of its members today. The central position of the household in Lhopo society is reflected in the importance given to the performance of and attendance at rituals held either for the household itself or as the rites of passage of its members. Attendance at these domestic rituals, which are discussed in the chapter, forms the basis of network of mutual help in which participation is mandatory and defines community membership. Household rituals gained in importance, and the household appears to have replaced the monastery as the centre of Lhopo social life following the decline of state level Buddhism in post-1975 Sikkim, thus indirectly re-enforcing the shamanic worldview on which some of these household rituals are based.

Keywords: Buddhism; community membership; domestic rituals; household rituals; Lhopo community; post-1975 Sikkim



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