Dumi Rai

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Brandy and rice offering to the ancestors through the fire place
A. von Stockhausen 2011 | hav:yxve34 (cc by nc nd 4.0)

The project Ritual, Space, Mimesis among the Rai of Estern Nepal (P 23204-G15, 10/2011–9/2016), funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) resulted in a detailed ethnographic documentation and comparative study of the ritual traditions among the Rai in Nepal (mainly the Dumi Rai and, to a lesser degree, the Puma Rai) under conditions of an increasing politicization and globalization of ethnicity and identity. In order to understand current claims and strategies of ethnic activists and practitioners, the focus was on two highly publicized domains of cultural practice: the shamanic rituals linked to the landscape and local territory; and the community dances which have become a major symbol of Rai identity. Special focus was put on linked recordings with a multilayered information content – spatial, temporal and visual data, simultaneously collected, as well as detailed transcripts and translations. Future iterations of the HAV aim at being able to present this kind of tightly interlinked content in its entirety.

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Bhume puja recitation by a ritual specialist
M. von Stockhausen-Wettstein, A. von Stockhausen 2011 | hav:dsssm0 (cc by nc nd 4.0)
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Sakela dance in a village ground as part of the Bhume ritual
A. von Stockhausen 2011 | hav:grns23 (cc by nc nd 4.0)
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Offering of a cock to the sakela deities
A. von Stockhausen 2011 | hav:w4fw2d (cc by nc nd 4.0)