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Type: Journal article
Title: Embodying the past: Gelongma Palmo and Tibetan Nyungne rituals
Author: Zivkovic, T.
Citation: Journal of Ritual Studies, 2013; 27(2):45-63
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh
Issue Date: 2013
ISSN: 0890-1112
Statement of
Tanya Zivkovic
Abstract: In a Tibetan Buddhist ritual as nyungne, participants use their bodies to re-enact the devotional fasting practice of Gelongma Palmo. This eleventh century nun purportedly transformed her leprous figure into the cause for her liberation. Emobdying her exemplary deeds by performing actions encoded in her biography and a ritual text, practitioners' engage with other participants and the spiritual others who are venerated in the course of the ritual. Exploring nyungne as a form of embodied remembrance through which practitioners evoke the presence of an historical, or trans-historical figure, I argue for the centrality of a sentient understanding, rather than a symbolic analysis, of the ritual. In my argument I draw attention to how nyungne practitioners identify with this historical figure as they re-perform her ritual aspects of her life-story in and through their own bodies.
Rights: Copyright © 2013 Journal of Ritual Studies
RMID: 0030006982
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Appears in Collections:Gender Studies and Social Analysis publications

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