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Ritual Texts

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Chapter Summary

Ritual texts are the core of Apatani oral tradition. Most ritual texts are chanted by male priests in order to ensure prosperity (Ritual Text 1), heal a specific illness or protect someone from danger (Ritual Text 6). Exceptions are the funeral chant (Ritual Text 5), which may be performed by women, and ayus (Ritual Texts 2, 3 & 4), which are performed by men who are not necessarily priests and which do not always summon spirits. Apatanis speak of three kinds of spirits. Tiigo are responsible for prosperity and health; cicing (or gyunyang) cause accidents and illness; yalu bring war and death. The first four ritual texts in this chapter, chanted during major festivals, summon spirits of prosperity; the last text, a healing chant, calls cicing spirits; and the fifth text, a funeral chant, addresses all three types of spirits.

Keywords: Apatani oral tradition; cicing spirits; funeral chant; prosperity; ritual texts; Tiigo; yalu



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