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Four Types of Loyalty in Early Modern Central Asia

The Tūqāy-Tīmūrid Takeover of Greater Mā Warā al-Nahr, 1598-1605


Thomas Welsford

At the turn of the seventeenth century, a new dynastic party established authority across Central Asia. In Four Types of Loyalty in Early Modern Central Asia, Thomas Welsford offers the first detailed account of how and why this happened. By examining some of the ways in which various social groupings helped to facilitate the Tūqāy-Tīmūrids’ acquisition of power, Welsford considers how such an instance of dynastic change might reflect the shifting loyalties, beliefs and preferences of an often overlooked wider subject population.

Victoria Arakelova and Tereza Amrian

The concept of the Afterlife is not explicitly articulated in the syncretic system of Yezidism. The paper is an attempt to reconstruct, as far as possible, the idea of the Hereafter among the Yezidis, based on all available data—popular beliefs, legends about deities, saints and other characters related to the sphere of life after death, as well as certain loci from the Yezidi lore (Qawl-ū-bayt’), containing either direct information on or allusions to the ideas of the Beyond ever existed in the Yezidi tradition.

Akhmed Osmanov, Magomedkhabib Seferbekov and Ruslan Seferbekov

The paper describes several interesting details from the rich repository of folk beliefs, cults, rites and ceremonies of obviously pre-Islamic nature, recorded among the Gidatlis. The latter are a sub-ethnic group of the Avars living in the Shamil region of Dagestan.

The Art of the Scythians

The Interpenetration of Cultures at the Edge of the Hellenic World

Esther Jacobson

This volume considers the art of the Scythians of the northern littoral of the Black Sea, as that art was expressed in gold, silver, bronze, and bone. Appearing by the seventh century B.C. at the edge of an expanding Hellenic world, the history and art of the Scythians must be considered within a context that recognizes the sources of Scythian culture in the Eurasian Steppe as well as the historical contingency of West Asia and the Greek colonies. By approaching the understanding of artistic traditions in terms of an evolving process, rooted in an archaic steppe culture but ultimately shaped by the confrontation of Near Eastern, Hellenic and Hellenistic tastes, this discussion goes beyond the traditional location of Scythian art as a subset of Greek goldwork. Particular consideration is given to the gradual transformation of object types and styles, from their reflection of archaic zoomorphic representations in carved bone, wood and bronze, to traditions expressive of Hellenized tastes and sensibilities, in gold and silver. By examining in detail individual objects, as well as classes of objects, this volume articulates a specifically Scythian stylistic and iconographic tradition, and a specifically Scythian contribution to the working of precious metals, related to but ultimately distinguishable from the goldworking traditions of Achaemenid Iran, late Classical Greece, and the larger Hellenistic world.
This volume offers substantial bibliography relating to the extensive research on Scythian art, archaeology, and history, published in the Russian and Ukrainian languages over the last 150 years.

Garnik Asatrian and Victoria Arakelova

One of the productive approaches to the analysis of the phenomenon of frontier zones, and the South Caspian region in particular, could be the delimitation of local cultural areas— not within administrative borders, but rather by frontier lines defined by such parameters as linguistic and toponymic areas, characteristics of the people’s mentality, specifics of local beliefs, etc. The southern and south-western shores of the Caspian Sea can be defined as a unique cultural landscape, a picturesque world “existing on the frontier lines”. On the marginal level—in folk beliefs, religious lore, etc.—the steadfast local substrate transformed Islam into shapes extraneous to the religious dogma. The South Caspian population, despite the domination of traditional forms of Islam, has preserved multiple elements dating back to the pre-Islamic cultural heritage.

The article discusses some peculiarities of folk beliefs of the Talishis, one of the autochthonous peoples of the area. An essential part of the paper includes attempts of revealing the pre-Islamic background of some characters and phenomena, modified and reinterpreted by Muslim thinking or through folk etymologies.

M. Cristina Cesaro

Han Chi- nese, while at the same time an ongoing exchange between the two groups is also displayed in the food domain (food items, vocabulary, meal patterns, etc.). Uyghur attitudes to and beliefs about food need to be analysed within the broader context of ethnic relations in contemporary Xinjiang

Anthony Walker

with human affairs; consequently, it can serve no useful purpose to “worship” them. This paper seeks to demonstrate that these peculiarities of Lahu custom and belief derive from a Maha ̄ ya ̄ nist movement that swept through the Lahu mountain homelands in southwestern Yunnan, probably beginning in the

‘I Have My Own Spaceship’

Folk Healers in Kalmykia, Russia

Baasanjav Terbish

practices and beliefs of medlegchis as ‘surviving Kalmyk Buddhist practices’ (or ‘historical Kalmyk Buddhism’) in opposition to a monastic version of Buddhism imported to Kalmykia from Tibetan monasteries in India in the 1990s. The revival of monastic Buddhism in post-Soviet Kalmykia being her main topic

Junko Fujiwara

insisted religions and magic are unworthy of belief was widespread and scientific knowledge was widely promoted. Therefore a maj ority of people came to consider magic only a 'superstition'. However, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, a movement to revive magic began. During fieldwork in the years