Divining with Achi and Tārā is a book on Tibetan methods of prognostics with dice and prayer beads (
mālā). Jan-Ulrich Sobisch offers a thorough discussion of Chinese, Indian, Turkic, and Tibetan traditions of divination, its techniques, rituals, tools, and poetic language. Interviews with Tibetan masters of divination introduce the main part with a translation of a dice divination manual of the deity Achi that is still part of a living tradition. Solvej Nielsen contributes further interviews, a mālā divination of Tārā and its oral tradition, and very useful glossaries of the terminology of Tibetan divination and fortune telling. Appendices provide lists of deities and spirits and of numerous identified ritual remedies and supports that are an essential element of a still vibrant Tibetan culture.
Winner of the 2016 Choice Outstanding Academic Title Award
This book is the first long-term study of the Sino-Tibetan borderland. It traces relationships and mutual influence among Tibetans, Chinese, Hui Muslims, Qiang and others over some 600 years, focusing on the old Chinese garrison city of Songpan and the nearby religious center of Huanglong, or Yellow Dragon. Combining historical research and fieldwork, Xiaofei Kang and Donald Sutton examine the cultural politics of northern Sichuan from early Ming through Communist revolution to the age of global tourism, bringing to light creative local adaptations in culture, ethnicity and religion as successive regimes in Beijing struggle to control and transform this distant frontier.