‘Making the oil fragrant’: dealings with the supernatural among the Uyghurs in Xinjiang

Bellér-Hann, I. (2001). ‘Making the oil fragrant’: dealings with the supernatural among the Uyghurs in Xinjiang. Asian Ethnicity2(1), 9-23. Link doi

Excerpt from introduction:

Anyone interested in Xinjiang today must take account of the long-term cultural continuities which manifest themselves in many areas of life beneath the practices and institutions of the modern social formation. In this paper, I shall deal with some aspects of traditional modes of dealing with the supernatural, concentrating on rituals and daily practices which link the world of the living to the world of the dead. Indigenous and other sources from before 1949 confirm that veneration of the dead has long been at the heart of popular religious practices among the Turki/Uyghurs. Fieldwork data from the 1990s point to the remarkable persistence of these practices throughout the socialist period, though they have not remained untouched by the dramatic social and political changes.

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