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Bitan: Oracles and Healers in The Karakorams

H. Sidky (Author) Janardan Subedi (Author)
Synopsis The Hunzakutz, a high people in the western Karakoram Mountains of northern Pakistan, possess a shamanistic tradition centered around religious specialists known as bitan. These practitioners inhale the smile of burning juniper branches, dance to a special music, drink blood from a freshly severed goat’s head, enter into ecstatic trances, and converse with supernatural beings. An ethnographic and historical analysis of this little-known shamanistic tradition is offered, focusing on the rituals, beliefs, and practices of Hunzakutz bitan, their place in the traditional ritual and politico-ideological apparatus of the former Hunza state, and their role as healers and soothsayers.
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About the author

H. Sidky

Dr. H. Sidky is an American anthropologist specializing in cultural ecology and the anthropology of religion. He is currently affiliated with the Department of Anthropology and Sociology, Miami University, Oxford (USA). He has written several articles on the people of Hunza.

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Bibliographic information

Title Bitan: Oracles and Healers in The Karakorams
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2004
Edition 1st ed.
Publisher ABD Publishers
Language: English
isbn 8189011405
length xx+188p., Col. Plates; Notes; Maps; Bibliography; Index; 23cm.