The ancestral forest: memory, space and ritual among the Kulunge Rai of the Eastern Nepal


Nicoletti, Martino 2006. The ancestral forest: memory, space and ritual among the Kulunge Rai of the Eastern Nepal. Vajra Publications - Kathmandu.
AuthorsNicoletti, Martino

An ethnographic monography devoted to the religion of the Kulunge Rāi ethnic group of eastern Nepal. Bearing witness to a far-off past of hunting and nomadic life, Kulunge's myths and legends form a plot and scenario that comprise a multitude of invisible entities: the “hunter-spirits” and the “monkey spirits”, the undisputed sovereigns of the forest world; Laladum, the deity who resembles a little girl, the initiator of young shamans from the villages of the area; the Nagi, or ophidiomorphic-spirits, dwelling in the waters, the totem ancestors of the Kulunge Rāi group; Molu, a mythical forefather, lost in the woods and transformed into a deity. A journey through the oral memory, the sacred geography and religious imaginary of this people. An ideal itinerary that progressively abandons the inhabited world and enters the abysses of the mythical woodlands – the silent witnesses of the group’s ancient life style – only to lose itself in the thick of the immense forests that even today surround the settlements of the Kulunge Rāi.Starting from the cults of domestic deities, the research goes on to analyse the rituals that accompany the souls of the dead and the village farming cults, as a necessary step before dealing with the hunting cults and the hidden paths beaten by Kulunge Rāi shamans.

KeywordsKulunge Rai; Shamanism; Himalayan religions; Anthropology; Ethnography; Photography; Visual anthropology; Nepal
Web address (URL)
File Access Level
Publication dates2006
Publication process dates
Deposited15 May 2013, 15:50
PublisherVajra Publications - Kathmandu
ContributorsUniversity of Derby, School of Art and Design
Permalink -

Download files

File access level: Open

  • 9
    total views
  • 0
    total downloads
  • 0
    views this month
  • 0
    downloads this month

Export as