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“I am not Shemr, this is not a dagger, nor is this Karbala,” recites the arch-antagonist as a taʿziyeh performance begins. Verisimilitude is not the endeavour; this is a devotional offering that stirs lament for the Shi’i martyrs by representing events crucial to sacred history. But what does that retelling entail? Through study of four of its main episodes, from their long inter-female dialogues to the protagonists’ encounters with jinn, dervishes, and foreigners, this book explores the taʿziyeh repertoire’s compositional features. Combining a wide range of historical scripts, largely unpublished manuscripts, with witness accounts, it tracks the tradition’s development from Safavid to Qajar Iran asking, who were its contributors? And, how have they left their mark?
The Art of Governing a Buddhist Frontier Community in the Himalaya
This book examines the art of governing a Himalayan frontier community through local institutions and customary law in the context of extensive socio-economic and political change. Limi, the Land in-between discusses the roles of the village assembly and the Buddhist monastery in local governance and details the monastery's functions as a ritual provider, tax collector, and its contribution to environmental management and conflict resolution. Adopting a longitudinal perspective, the author explores how the villagers adapt to shifting Nepali administrative reforms and navigate the dilemmas arising with increasing outmigration as well as other transformations within the broader regional and global context.
Central Asia has been perceived as a landscape of connections, of Silk Roads; an endless plain across which waves of conquerors swiftly rode on horseback. In reality the region is highly fragmented and difficult to traverse, and overcoming these obstacles led to routes becoming associated with epic travel and high-value trade. Put simply, the inhabitants of these lands became experts in the art of travelling the margins.
This volume seeks to unravel some of the myths of long-distance roads in Central Asia, using a desert case-study to put forward a new hypothesis for how medieval landscapes were controlled and manipulated.
In Pamirian Crossroads and Beyond Hermann Kreutzmann offers insights in his fieldwork-based research in High Asia during four decades.
A human-geographical perspective is pursued in which case studies about colonial and post-colonial boundary-making, exchange relations of mountain communities across international borders, the transformation of agricultural and pastoral practices and the effects of modernisation strategies in neighbouring countries are centred in the Hindukush, Wakhan Quadrangle, Pamirian Crossroads, Karakoram Mountains and Himalaya. Empirical evidence is augmented by in-depth archival research, thus allowing a perspective from the 19th to the 21st century.
By shifting the focus to mountain peripheries and emphasising spaces in between urban centres of power in Afghanistan, Pakistan, China, and the Central Asian Republics different arenas of confrontation and effective changes emerge.
In the mid-1920s, Uzbekistan’s countryside experienced a ‘land reform’, which aimed at solving rural poverty and satisfying radical fringes among peasants and Party, while sustaining agricultural output, especially for cotton. This book analyses the decision-making process underpinning the reform, its implementation, and economic and social effects. The reform must be understood against the background of the wreckage caused by war and revolution, and linked to subsequent policies of ‘land organisation’ and regime-sponsored ‘class struggle’.
Overall, this is the first comprehensive account of early Soviet policy in Central Asia’s agricultural heartland, encompassing land rights, irrigation, credit, resettlement, and the co-operative system.
Re-discovering Objects on the Silk Roads
Volume Editors: and
Saved by Desert Sands, edited by Kelsey Granger and Imre Galambos, unites historians, codicologists, art historians, archaeologists, and curators in the study of material culture on the Silk Roads. The re-discovery of forgotten manuscript archives and sand-buried cities in the twentieth century has brought to light thousands of manuscripts and artefacts. To date, textual content has largely been prioritised over physical objects and their materiality, but the material aspects of these objects are just as important. Focusing primarily on the material and non-textual, this volume presents studies on silver dishes, sealing systems, manuscripts, Buddhist paintings, and ceramics, all of which demonstrate the centrality of material culture in the study of the Silk Roads.