Book Series Silk Road Studies , vol. 9

Calling the Soul of the Dead

Alice Sarkozi

  • Pages: 280 p.
  • Size:160 x 240 mm
  • Illustrations:47 col.
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2005

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  • ISBN: 978-2-503-51501-4
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  • ISBN: 978-2-503-57385-4
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Summary

Research of Mongolion folk-religion has been the subject of special attention in recent years. Editions and translations of extant texts have appeared, providing detailed descriptions of the rituals. This book examines a very special ritual of folk-religion, the ceremony of calling back the soul of the dead. Among the Mongols it was commonly believed that illness and death were caused by the absence of the soul, so a special ritual was required to call back the wandering soul. The research for this volume has been based on texts preserved in the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg. A background is given by observations of researchers who have visited the relevant areas and personal communications of Mongols. These rituals are still living and carried out by Mongolians and their neighbouring peoples. The very old ceremony, must have belonged to an early layer of folk-religion. It has now become a ritual of the Lamaist church. Influence of Tibetan Buddhism is found. A special chapter is devoted to evil spirits. The volume is richly illustrated.