Membres | Thèses récemment soutenues

Irène Majo Garigliano

Thèse soutenue en mai 2014
Institution(s) de rattachement : Université Paris Ouest Nanterre la Défense

Coordonnées professionnelles


Irene Majo Garigliano a soutenu sa thèse le 29 avril 2015.


The Brahmans of the Kāmākhyā temple complex (Assam) : customary rights, relations with pilgrims and administrative power


Directeurs de thèse : Gilles Tarabout et Raffaele Torella

École doctorale : Paris Ouest Nanterre - Ethnologie

Année d’inscription : 2009


This thesis studies the Brahmans of the Kamakhya temple complex; and in particular the social, economic and political issues agitating the priestly community. My interest concerns all Brahmans active at the temple complex. l analyze the logic that organizes and hierarchizes the wide range of activities restricted to Brahmans; the financial aspect of these activities; and the way Brahmans conceptualize and legitimize their activities and standing. The Brahmans are basically involved in two sets of activities: those connected to the public worship and those connected to their relations with pilgrims and the private worship (in dealing with pilgrims, the rights—holder Brahmans delegate certain activities to the Brahmans from outside the Nilachal). Considering both the spheres of activity allowed me to analyze the relative significance of the two spheres at the level of concepts and at that of the practices undertaken by the Brahmans. The chapters of this thesis will show that a significant gap can be detected between the two levels. The public worship is the only activity which (in theory) should be undertaken every day and is understood to be the essential activity of the temple complex. On the 0ther hand, at present the temple complex receives thousands of pilgrims every day; as will be shown, that has a profound impact on the internal organization and agency of the Brahman community. One 0f the main tasks of this thesis will be to find 0ut the specific ways in which the flow of pilgrims contributes to shaping new models of relationships between the Brahmans of the Kamakhya temple complex, to orientating the Brahmans' choices and actions, and to creating significant economic differences among the Brahmans. The last part of the thesis explores the role of the Brahmans in the administration of the temple complex. Through the analyse of a seventeen—year—old dispute l explore the way different actors answer the question whether the political sphere should be informed by ritual ranking among Brahmans and between Brahmans and non—Brahmans or not.


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