Announcing a New Title - Himalayan Space

John Peterson John.Peterson at GERMANISTIK.UNI-MUENCHEN.DE
Fri May 12 10:32:52 UTC 2000

VYAKARAN: South Asian Languages and Linguistics Net
Editors:  Tej K. Bhatia, Syracuse University, New York
          John Peterson, University of Munich, Germany
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Here's one more title that will undoubtedly be of interest to many members
of the list.

For more details, check out the following site:

Information on how to order the book can be found at the site or at the end
of this message.

Himalayan Space: Cultural Horizons and Practices

Edited by Balthasar Bickel and Martin Gaenszle

To appear in 1999, Museum of Ethnography, Zürich
ISBN 3-909105-36-X


The contributors to this volume analyze different conceptions of space in
various traditions of the Himalayan region by relying on linguistic and
cultural evidence. Linguistic approaches raise questions about the
underlying cognitive models which are inscribed in grammatical systems and
are relevant in everyday speech practice. Anthropological analysis
complements this perspective by looking at cultural patterns which become
particularly apparent in ritual action (such as shamanist journeys) and
mythological discourse. In comparing the findings about different
traditions, two basic spatial models emerge in various local constellations
and blends: the 'mandalaic' model takes up a common South Asian theme and
systematically conflates body-centred orientation with cardinal directions.
The 'geomorphic' model invokes more territorial notions and is strongly
bound to the hilly and mountainous landscape of the region. In their
detailed studies the authors explore the complexities of these models and
related practices. The cultural horizons for conceptualizing space and the
practices informed by these horizons prove to be crucial for an
understanding of both tradition and change in the social and political
settings of the Himalayan region.


Balthasar Bickel & Martin Gaenszle
    Introduction: cultural horizons and practices in Himalayan space

Gérard Toffin
    Spatial categories of the Newars of the Kathmandu Valley:  The inside -
outside opposition

Balthasar Bickel
    Cultural formalism and spatial language in Belhara

Karen Ebert
    The up - down dimension in Rai grammar and mythology

Martin Gaenszle
    Travelling up - travelling down: the vertical dimension in Mewahang Rai
ritual journeys

Michael Oppitz
    Cardinal directions in Magar mythology

András Höfer
    Nomen est numen: notes on the verbal journey in some Western Tamang oral
ritual texts

Judith Pettigrew
    Parallel landscapes: ritual and political values of a Shamanic soul

Please order at:
Völkerkundemuseum Zürich
Pelikanstr. 40
CH-8001 Zürich

Tel.: +41-1-634 90 11
Fax: +41-1-634 90 50

e-mail: musethno at

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