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Visions Of Ladakh: Nicola Grist, 19 April 1957–26 August 2004

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Chapter Summary

It was Nicola Grist (Nicky) who introduced the author to Ladakh; her untimely death prompted the author to visit Leh and Kargil, and speak in her honour at the 12th Colloquium of the International Association for Ladakhi Studies. This chapter is based on that presentation. Nicky?s passion about the history of Ladakh, its position within the broader Himalayan region and processes of incorporation within the nation state, was equally a passion about the situation today and, in particular, relations of inequality. When Nicky first visited Suru valley in the early 1980s, she found that the yokmapa were still associated with millenarian, apparently other-worldly, activity anticipating the coming mahdi. Nicky was endlessly fascinated by kinship as a form of history about locality, land and labour. Nicky?s vision of Ladakh included Muslims as well as Buddhists, women as well as men, children as well as adults, Kargil as well as Leh.

Keywords: Buddhists; Kargil; Ladakh; Leh; Nicola Grist; Suru valley; yokmapa



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