Miyapma- Traditional Narratives of the Thulung Rai

Miyapma- Traditional Narratives of the Thulung Rai

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Book Specification

Item Code: UAO415
Author: N.J. Allen
Publisher: Vajra Publications, Nepal
Language: English
Edition: 2012
ISBN: 9789937506823
Pages: 292 (Throughout B/w Illustrations)
Other Details 9.00 X 6.00 inch
Weight 460 gm

Book Description

The abundance of anthropological literature on Nepal produced in the past two decades stands in inverse proportion to its thematic range. The corpus has come to be dominated by two broad concerns: development and politics. Whatever the intellectual or humanitarian engagement of anthropologists with these domains, there can be little doubt about the motors that are primarily responsible for driving this production: funding opportunities in the first place and, in the second, the obviously topical character of all things political since the dissolution of the Partyless Panchayat System in 1990 and, more pertinently, the declaration of the Peoples' War in 1996. If it has seemed to some that attention to matters other than development and politics would have been inappropriate during this period, that is because anthropology as a whole has sought to preserve its existence by forging coalitions with more robust and confident disciplines - economics and political science, for example, or literary theory- and is obliged to follow the current interests of its senior partners.

Some arenas of interest that once stood at the very centre of the anthropological enterprise such as kinship have all but disappeared from writing about Nepal. One traditional' preoccupation that has, by contrast, proved to be more resilient is the study of myth. Miyapma was the first truly rigorous investigation of the mythic corpus of a Bodic language group in Nepal, and, in spite of the fact that it has never yet been published, it remains one of the most important.

This book is an edited version of a D.Phil. thesis submitted to the University of Oxford in 1976. The thesis was completed while I was a Lecturer in Anthropology at the University of Durham, just before I moved back to Oxford to teach.

My original plan was to undertake a thorough-going revision of the thesis before trying to publish it, and with this in view I began a series of articles. The first (Allen 1980) was an overview, while three others (1981, 1997a, 1997b) elaborated on particular narratives that were included in the thesis. One (1986) incorporated Thulung material but focused on a Newar narrative. However, with the passing years, it became ever clearer that the project of full-scale revision was unrealistic. Firstly, my rate of progress was totally inadequate in the first twenty years the articles had covered only a minute proportion of the material included in the thesis. Secondly, my research and teaching interests gradually changed (in directions foreshadowed by the thesis - see Allen 2000, 2003; Onta 2004), so that I was no longer able to keep up with the rapidly growing literature on the Himalayas. Thirdly, I came to realise that my notion of revision had been incoherent. What I was doing in practice was expanding the geographical and historical range of material used for comparison with the Thulung narratives - but such expansion had no logical limit. The comparisons made in the thesis retained their value (I thought) and could not be pruned, and if the expansion continued indefinitely, the result would become both unpublishable as well as unreadable. I recalled Casaubon's failure to complete his Key to all mythologies in George Eliot's Middlemarch.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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