Forging a Mandalic Space: Bhaktapur, Nepal‘s Cow Procession and the Improvisation of Tradition.

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Gregory Price Grieve, Associate Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: In 1995, as part of Bhaktapur, Nepal‘s Cow Procession, the new suburban neighborhood of Suryavinayak celebrated a ?forged? goat sacrifice. Forged religious practices seem enigmatic if one assumes that traditional practice consists only of the blind imitation of timeless structure. Yet, the sacrifice was not mechanical repetition; it could not be, because it was the first and only time it was celebrated. Rather, the religious performance was a conscious manipulation of available ?traditional? cultural logics that were strategically utilized during the Cow Procession‘s loose carnivalesque atmosphere to solve a contemporary problem—what can one do when one lives beyond the borders of religiously organized cities such as Bhaktapur? This paper argues that the ?forged? sacrifice was a means for this new neighborhood to operate together and improvise new mandalic space beyond the city‘s traditional cultic territory.

Additional Information

Numen 51 (2004): 468-512
Language: English
Date: 2004
Cow Procession, Bhaktapur, Nepal,

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