Fakultäten » Philosophische Fakultät » Sozialanthropologie und Empirische Kulturwissenschaft, Institut für » Völkerkundemuseum » Prof. Dr. Mareile Flitsch » Kind

Completed research project

Title / Titel The Bon Landscape of Dolpo, Nepal
PDF Abstract (PDF, 14 KB)
Summary / Zusammenfassung The study is a continuation of an earlier research in Dolpo on different aspects of rituals of Bon religion and their revitalisation that resulted in an MA thesis (Lizentiatsarbeit an der Universität Zürich) called "Mendrub – a Ritual for the Benefit of all Living Beings and the Empowerment of Medicine, performed in Tsho, Dolpo 1996”. The research project started with an ethnographic study in the remote district of Dolpo in northwest Nepal and continued with with text studies of local texts in Tibetan language. Dolpo - an enclave in which the Tibetan Bon religion survived various persecutions and still exists in an interesting mélange with the local unnamed religious practices is the main focus of the research. The central question concentrates on the mountain landscape that is inhabited by deities and carries traces of saints, who have been meditating at various sites of the area. The deities as well as the history of the saints have a strong influence on numerous aspects of life of the local community. The mythical stories of the sacred places and the biographies of the saints, which are inscribed into the landscape, reflect the history of immigration and settlement and can give some explanations of social patterns. In addition a study of the local lineages connected in one way or the other with the sacred sites will shed some light on the local history. The study shall provide an insight into the history and legends connected with the biographies of local lamas, the foundation of monasteries, the opening of pilgrimages and the Emergence of Bon in Dolpo.

Since the oral traditions of Dolpo are coupled with a written tradition ethnographic research is combined with text studies of the local written sources. For this reason translation work was carried out in Nepal, in Oxford with Charles Ramble and Tenpa Yungdrung and in Switzerland with a few specialists.

The research was finished in 2008 with the PhD thesis completed and the defence in autumn 2008. Result: 'summa cum laude'. The title of the thesis is: "Bon Landscape of Dolpo - Pilgrimages, Monasteries, Biographies and the Emergence of Bon". Referent: Prof. Michael Oppitz, Ethnographic Museum Zuerich, Co-Referent: Senior Lecturer Dr. Charles Ramble, Oriental Institute Oxford. It shall be published by 2011.
Publications / Publikationen KIND, Marietta. 2007 »'Jag 'dul – A Bon Mountain Pilgrimage in Dolpo, Nepal« in Discoveries in Western Tibet and the Western Himalayas. A. Heller and G. Orofino, eds. PIATS 2003: Tibetan studies proceedings of the Tenth Seminar of the International Association for Tibetan Studies, Oxford, 2003. Leiden: Brill.

RAMBLE, Charles and Marietta KIND. 2003a. »Bonpo Monasteries and Temples of the Himalayan Region«, in A Survey of Bon Monasteries and Temples in Tibet and the Himalaya. S. Karmay & Y. Nagano (eds.) Osaka: National Museum of Ethnology

KIND, Marietta. 2003b. »Bericht von Begegnungen mit den maoistischen Rebellen - Die Maobadis sind auch in der Dolpo-Region aktiv« in Tibet Aktuell, Nr. 79. Zürich: Gesellschaft Schweizerisch-Tibetische Freundschaft (GSTF).

KIND, Marietta. 2003c. »Die Entführung der Berggöttin - Beseelte Landschaft, Heirat und Identität in Phoksumdo, Dolpo« in Nepal Information Nr. 91:33-36.

KIND, Marietta. 2003d. »Tapriza Lobtra - A Community Based Culture School and its history« in International Conference on Development Assistance to Ethnic Tibetan Communities, Taipei, 2003, pp. 24-38. Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs Commission.

KIND Marietta. 2002a. »The Abduction of the Divine Bride - Territory and Identity among the Bonpo Community in Phoksumdo, Dolpo«, in Territory and Identity in Tibet and the Himalayas. PIATS 2000: Tibetan Studies: Proceedings of the 9th Seminar of the International Association of Tibetan Studies, Leiden 2000. K. Buffetrille and H. Diemberger (eds.) Leiden: Brill.

KIND Marietta. 2002b. Mendrub - A Bonpo Ritual for the Benefit of all Living Beings and the Empowerment of Medicine Performed in Tsho, Dolpo. Kathmandu: WWF Nepal.

Keywords / Suchbegriffe Nepal, Dolpo, Phoksumdo, pilgrimage, sacred landscape, sacred mountains, Anthropology of landscape, Bonpo, Bon religion, Bön Religion, religious masters, biographies, genealogies, Ringmo, Pungmo, Samling, Do-Tarap, Shey Riwo Drukta, Hurikot, Kaigaun, genealogies, Tibetan studies, local histories, Himalaya
Project leadership and contacts /
Projektleitung und Kontakte
Marietta Kind (Project Leader)
Other links to external web pages
Funding source(s) /
Unterstützt durch
Universität Zürich (position pursuing an academic career), Forschungskredit der Universität Zürich, Others
Forschungskredit der Universität ZürichKreditnummer der Fondsverwaltung: 560040Projekt bzw. Gesuchsnummer: Spuren in der Landschaft
In collaboration with /
In Zusammenarbeit mit
Völkerkundemuseum Zürich
Prof. Michael Oppitz
Oriental Institute, Oxford
Aris Trust Centre for Tibetan and Himalayan Studies, Oxford
Dr. Charles Ramble
United Kingdom
Duration of Project / Projektdauer Feb 2002 to Mar 2008