Adams, Vincanne, 1959-. Dreams of a final Sherpa

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Publication Information


Title: Dreams of a final Sherpa

Published in: American anthropologist -- Vol. 99, no. 1

Published By: American anthropologist -- Vol. 99, no. 1 Washington, etc.: American Anthropological Association, etc., 1997. 85-98 p.

By line: Vincanne Adams

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: HRAF, 2004. Computer File

Culture: Sherpa (AK06)

Subjects: Acculturation and culture contact (177); Magical and mental therapy (755); General character of religion (771); Cosmology (772); Spirits and gods (776); Theological systems (779); Prophets and ascetics (792); Ethnopsychology (828);

Abstract: In this paper Adams analyses a Sherpa curing ceremony in order to understand Sherpa notions of self and reality. He also examines the relationship between Sherpas and foreigners, including anthropologists. Sherpa curing ceremonies involve bringing together the supernatural and natural worlds. Demons and gods are invited to inhabit their effigies that are specially made for the ceremony. The practitioner and patient identify themselves with the Buddha effigies. According to Adams, this transference of self fits into the Buddhist ideas about the impermanence of the world and the need to detach oneself from it. One builds merit to the degree one can disengage. Adams asks how can one talk about an essential Sherpa subject when the Sherpa self is so labile? Sherpas readily identify themselves with Western tourists' imaginings about the Sherpa, both close-to-nature and Eastern in outlook. In their relationship with foreigners, Sherpas form profitable friendships and gain merit at the same time.

Document Number: 14

Document ID: ak06-014

Document Type: Journal Article

Language: English

Field Date: 1989-1990

Evaluation: Ethnologist-4,5

Analyst: Ian Skoggard ; 2002

Coverage Date: 1960-1995

Coverage Place: Khum Jung village, Solu-Khombu District, Khosi Zone, Nepal

LCSH: Sherpa (Nepalese people)


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