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Tragic Spirits Shamanism, Memory, and Gender in Contemporary Mongolia

ISBN-10: 0226086569
ISBN-13: 9780226086569
Edition: 2013
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Description: The collapse of socialism at the end of the twentieth century brought devastating changes to Mongolia. Economic shock therapy—an immediate liberalization of trade and privatization of publicly owned assets—quickly led to impoverishment, especially  More...

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Book details

Copyright year: 2013
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 11/1/2013
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 304
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.990
Language: English

The collapse of socialism at the end of the twentieth century brought devastating changes to Mongolia. Economic shock therapy—an immediate liberalization of trade and privatization of publicly owned assets—quickly led to impoverishment, especially in rural parts of the country, whereTragic Spiritstakes place. Following the travels of the nomadic Buryats, Manduhai Buyandelger tells a story not only of economic devastation but also a remarkable Buryat response to it—the revival of shamanic practices after decades of socialist suppression. Attributing their current misfortunes to returning ancestral spirits who are vengeful over being abandoned under socialism, the Buryats are now at once trying to appease their ancestors and recover the history of their people through shamanic practice. Thoroughly documenting this process, Buyandelger situates it as part of a global phenomenon, comparing the rise of shamanism in liberalized Mongolia to its similar rise in Africa and Indonesia. In doing so, she offers a sophisticated analysis of the way economics, politics, gender, and other factors influence the spirit world and the crucial workings of cultural memory.

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