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The Forest of Symbols Embodied in the Tholung Sacred Landscape of North Sikkim, India

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dc.contributor.author Arora, Vibha en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2009-07-31T14:57:53Z
dc.date.available 2009-07-31T14:57:53Z
dc.date.issued 2006 en_US
dc.date.submitted 2007-08-22 en_US
dc.date.submitted 2007-08-22 en_US
dc.identifier.uri https://hdl.handle.net/10535/3156
dc.description.abstract "The paper explores the forest of symbols and the cultural politics embodied in the Tholung sacred landscape of North Sikkim, India. Representations of the Lepchas as the guardians of the sacred grove are gaining ground in the contemporary context of their cultural revival and regional ethnopolitics. To nuance these perspectives, this study furthers the socioecological debate on conservation, socio-religious fencing, and the mediating role of state. Sacred groves and landscapes are often perceived as an example of indigenous forest management practices and the antithesis of the sanctuary rationally managed by the forest department of the government. I emphasise that conservation is a latent consequence while the idea of a sacred site preserves the forest and keeps it inviolate. I argue that Tholung constitutes the nerve centre of Lepcha life, their identity, and embodies the nationalist practices of the former Kingdom of Sikkim. As a sanctified site, Tholung legitimised the authority of the Namgyal dynasty that ruled Sikkim until its incorporation into India in 1975. I explain how rituals performed by the Lepchas regenerate the human body, the land, the ancestral connections of the Lepchas, and their indigenous identity. The community, the forest and the state are conjoined in the locus of the sacred grove as it legitimises the power of the state and sustains the ethnic-nationalism of the Lepchas in the region." en_US
dc.subject sacred forests en_US
dc.subject land tenure and use en_US
dc.subject indigenous institutions en_US
dc.subject landscape change en_US
dc.subject indigenous knowledge en_US
dc.subject ethnicity en_US
dc.subject environmentalism en_US
dc.subject anthropology en_US
dc.title The Forest of Symbols Embodied in the Tholung Sacred Landscape of North Sikkim, India en_US
dc.type Journal Article en_US
dc.type.published published en_US
dc.coverage.region Middle East & South Asia en_US
dc.coverage.country India en_US
dc.subject.sector Social Organization en_US
dc.subject.sector Forestry en_US
dc.identifier.citationjournal Conservation and Society en_US
dc.identifier.citationvolume 4 en_US
dc.identifier.citationnumber 1 en_US
dc.identifier.citationmonth March en_US
dc.submitter.email aurasova@indiana.edu en_US

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