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Accepted Paper:

The Cosmic Drama: environmental disasters, human and other-than human beings among the Chepang (Nepal)  
Diana Riboli (Panteio University)

Paper Short Abstract:

The paper aims to analyze the complex networks of relationships and interactions between human and non-human actors in relation to the increase of natural and/or anthropogenic disasters in the Chepang of south-central Nepal.

Paper Abstract:

The paper aims to analyze the complex networks of relationships and interactions between human and non-human actors in relation to the increase of natural and/or anthropogenic disasters in the Chepang of south-central Nepal.

In particular, environmental degradation and increased landslides after the devastating earthquakes that struck the Himalayan country in 2015, along with the mass entry into the country of Christian NGOs declaring war on animist traditions, are leading Chepang pande (shamans) to forge new alliances with non-human beings.

In such a drama of cosmic and global proportions, the pande increasingly tend to assume the role of political leaders, both at the human and non-human level. In their role of political leaders, the pande more and more frequently weave a complex web of diplomatic relations, alliances and conflicts with government representatives, missionaries, bureaucrats, NGOs, as well as with divinities and other-than human beings. Although the path of diplomacy is usually pursued, in certain cases the pande, in addition to being political leaders, become military leaders, undertaking fierce battles against neo-colonial and neo-liberal spirits.

Panel OP115
Health and more-than-human entanglements
  Session 1 Thursday 18 July, 2024, -