Dec 022016

Is it witchcraft or ancient healing knowledge? Have a glimpse of the mother shaman in action.

She is the only woman to have ever been accepted into the highest order of shamans in Nepal – and she was even selected for a trip recently to meet with other shamans in Africa. Her residence is inside Kathmandu valley, but she orginates from a Hill district where she learned her insights and skills from old village shamans. At her clinic, she receives locals as well as foreigners every day – and in this video, she prescribes remedies to a young mother and her baby. Is it “witchcraft” or ancient healing knowledge?! Well, watch to have a glimpse of a shaman’s craft, centuries old.

The video was shot by Arun Chalise at LocalNepalToday.

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Mar 052016

It still happens: two women who were tortured by a mob, accused of casting spells on villagers

It still happens: two women who were tortured by a mob, accused of casting spells on villagers

It’s hard to believe that witch burnings and child sacrifices still happen. But they do! It’s also true, though, that these occurrences are relatively rare – maybe they happen just once or twice a year, although some say numbers are higher. It’s indeed ages ago that witch burnings and child sacrifices were common parts of religious practices in South Asia in general. But this “dark side” to traditional beliefs is still alive today! Why write about it, though, if it’s rare, not to mention blood shivering to talk about? Well, we have chosen to make a note about it simply because it does exist! Here are a few recent examples. Continue reading »

Dec 282014

Burning dolls to protect your brothers: Sama Chakeva in a Terai village.

The brother-sister festival at Tihar is only one of several others. In Maithili communities across the Terai, love between brothers and sisters is also celebrated at Sama Chakeva in commemoration of heroic acts of two mythic sieblings. Sama, a young daughter of the god Krishna, was once falsely accused of wrongdoings and punished by being turned into a bird. Her brother took fearless action out of love to his sister which finally brought Sama back to human form. This video captures a night’s rituals from a village outside Janakpur: watch as sisters gather to sing in worship of their brothers, burning clay dolls that symbolise enemies and evil spirits – all to protect their brothers in the year to come. It’s a happy and fun ritual – but also one of respect and love, and centuries old.

Dec 202014

Under a full moon in a remote village: women shamans in action.

This video is from a remote village East of Janakpur – at night on the last full moon of November – capturing moments of ancient Shaman rituals. Most of them women, the local Shamans are performing rituals celebrating the slaying of a demon ages ago. The nature of the rituals? Well, they are highly physical, imprinting a mix of fear and awe in the eyes of the locals. Watch the video below and it’ll be clear why: these women shamans are powerful! Also known as Kartik Poornima, the deeper meaning of the rituals is complex. But here’s the video: it’s “Shaman Night” under a full moon.