Doctoral defence: Kikee Doma Bhutia “Mythic history, belief narratives and vernacular Buddhism among the lhopos of Sikkim”

On 7 March at 12:30 Kikee Doma Bhutia will defend her doctoral thesis “Mythic history, belief narratives and vernacular Buddhism among the Ihopos of Sikkim” for obtaining the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (in Folkloristics).

Prof. Ülo Valk, University of Tartu

Dr. Davide Torri, Università di Roma La Sapienza (Italy)

This fieldwork-based dissertation examines the social, political, and economic lives of the Lhopos of Sikkim, the related identity issues, and to the lived and vernacular realities surrounding religious practices. It studies vernacular religion of the Lhopo communities, their life together with the non-human entities and interactions with them. Focus is on the Lhopo mythic histories and other belief narratives in relationships to the beliefs, religious practices, and cultural traditions of other ethnic communities of Sikkim. Many beliefs are shared as warning legends supported by the mythic historical details that have passed down and spread within and across communities. In addition, the work discusses other oral traditions, such as personal biographical narratives and memorates, and performative aspects of religious folklife, such as local rituals. The thesis contributes to the discourse about genre in belief studies by presenting materials as seen from the perspectives of multiple communities caught in the confluence of change and continuity.

The defence will be held in Teams: