Susan Conway – The Material Culture of the Tai Shan of Burma: Cosmology, Astrology and Religious Rituals
Event Date: 10 June 2010 – 6pm – 7:30pm
Dr Susan Conway (School of Oriental and African Studies)
The Material Culture of the Tai Shan of Burma: Cosmology, Astrology and Religious Rituals
Most belief systems are built on concepts of salvation, a contest between good and evil, positive power versus negative power. People throughout the world have developed strategies for dealing with these opposing forces by designing positive formulae for good and negative formulae to create evil. In inland Southeast Asia these formulae developed through a fusion of spirit religion, indigenous mythology, Theravada Buddhism, Hindu cosmology and Chinese astrology. From the sixteenth century mystical formulae were recorded in palm leaf and mulberry paper (gradat saa) manuscripts. This lecture focuses on mystical formulae in Shan manuscripts, their meaning and how they were administered.