DOBES Archive

This session contains introductory data about the kinship system in Puma culture. It includes an outline of the major kinship units, the proto-clan (samet), distribution of the clans, kin terms, and marriage practice.
The session includes materials about the Nuwagi ritual, the major first fruits offering performed in the autumn (harvest season). It describes the performance of the ritual: the offerings at the hearth and the presentation of the first rice and also ginger.
In this session, the ritual of Phagu which is one of the most important ritual is described. The role of a ngapong, who is the ritual expert in charge of the ritual is described, as well as the stages of the ritual itself.
The ethnographic context of the Puma language and culture is described in this session: history, settlement area, language use.
The introduction gives an overview of the major narrative genres in Puma. Most of the narratives are part of the mundum, the sacred lore which recounts the origins of the world and the establishment of culture and ritual.
Some major origin myths are summarized here: The stories of Sumnima and Paruhang and the myth of the culture hero Hechakupka and his sisters Tongwama and Khiwama are summed up in this file. It also includes the origin myth of the sili dance which is used in the Phagu festival. The ways of performing sili are explained. Further, the myth recounting the origin of the Diplung is presented in outline.
This is an introduction to the Puma ritual system. It includes information about the annual ritual cycle, the harvest rituals, the life cycle rituals and various other ritual performances (including shamanic healing seances).
The session describes the rituals connected with death, i.e. the burial and funerary ceremonies, the taboos which the mourners have to follow, and the gradual transformation of the dead into an ancestors.
This introduction contains an overview of the Chintang narrative corpus, including myths of origin and myths about Chintang Devi, and stories about historical events and personal memories (life-histories).
This introduction contains an overview of the Chintang ritual corpus, including life-cycle rituals (including weddings, funerals), agricultural rituals (Yupung, Nuwagi, Wadhangmi). It gives references to the respective sources and recorded sessions, as well as the ethnographic descriptions.
The Nuwagi ritual is an important harvest ritual: only after it is performed can the first grains be consumed. The chapter describes the ritual procedure of the all day festival which consists of various smaller rites: in particular offerings for Rajdeu, Kholamang, Budhahang, Khipmang and Daijohang.
Description of Chintang village and the social divisions in general: ethnic identity, historical context (including the 'Chintang Incident' of 1979), Chintang village profile (figures on ethnic distribution and clan affiliation), literacy and schooling, landscape and subsistence, language situation.
The session includes information about the various different categories of ritual experts, namely, the picami, chambak, nangsuba, taluksing, nakchong and the baidang. Though none of them is a typical jhakri (pan-Nepalese shaman), most of them have shamanic characteristics.
The Wadhangmi festival is the single most important ritual for the Chintang. In fact, it can be seen – as will become apparent in the following – as a ritual defining Chintang identity in a narrower sense. The major ritual experts, namely the chambak, nangsuba, and nakchong play are crucial role, and their main rituals are outlined here in their chronological order. The file also includes some photographs.