15th Annual Smithsonian.com Photo Contest
Rituals & the Poetry of Space & Time
7. Caption: — The devotee wears a headband adorned with jamara, a sacred yellow grass that was grown from seed planted on the first day of Dasain. The blade of the grass symbolizes the sword that was used to kill the evil demon.
Series Statement —
As Carl Jung has asserted, not only have our physical beings evolved through thousands of years of existence, but also our human psyche. The key aspects of this evolution are directly related to the ancient practice of rituals. For all societies, rituals have provided a way for discovering a kind of order and meaning for our existence out of the unfathomable chaos that surrounds us.
In Nepal, the Newars — an ancient culture that settled in the Kathmandu Valley more than two thousand years ago — consider themselves the true custodians of Nepal’s culture, civilization & religion. For the Newars, rituals are an integral part of every persons’ daily life, from the very young to the very old.
This series investigates the rituals of one Newar festival, Dasain, witnessing it as an ancient choreography, unfolding in sacred spaces with timeless replications of rituals that Newars, both young and old, ardently breathe fresh life into — a vibrant testimony & poetic journey of living Hinduism.
© Mick Stetson.
All rights reserved.
||Oct. 30, 2017, 12:52 a.m.