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Chapter Summary

This is the introductory chapter of the book, in which the three strands of this book-Subu Heniin chant, Murung festival and nyibu performer-are described in separate chapters but have been integrated at various points. For one thing, they come together in a single event, when the nyibu stands on the lapang and chants. The three topics also coalesce at times in the analyses in separate chapters. Interpretations of both chant and festival identify the same key ideas and practices. Another integrating dimension of the book is that it considers each of its three strands in comparative perspective. The book shows that the Apatani chant, festival and ritual specialist (and his speech) have counterparts elsewhere, mostly in the extended eastern Himalayas, and yet that each has localised features. It demonstrates the paradox that in order to understand a local culture, we must look beyond what is local.

Keywords: Apatani chant; Murung festival; nyibu performer; Subu Heniin chant



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