• The ancestral forest: memory, space and ritual among the Kulunge Rai of the Eastern Nepal

      Nicoletti, Martino; University of Derby, School of Art and Design (Vajra Publications - Kathmandu, 2006)
      An ethnographic monography devoted to the religion of the Kulunge Rāi ethnic group of eastern Nepal. Bearing witness to a far-off past of hunting and nomadic life, Kulunge's myths and legends form a plot and scenario that comprise a multitude of invisible entities: the “hunter-spirits” and the “monkey spirits”, the undisputed sovereigns of the forest world; Laladum, the deity who resembles a little girl, the initiator of young shamans from the villages of the area; the Nagi, or ophidiomorphic-spirits, dwelling in the waters, the totem ancestors of the Kulunge Rāi group; Molu, a mythical forefather, lost in the woods and transformed into a deity. A journey through the oral memory, the sacred geography and religious imaginary of this people. An ideal itinerary that progressively abandons the inhabited world and enters the abysses of the mythical woodlands – the silent witnesses of the group’s ancient life style – only to lose itself in the thick of the immense forests that even today surround the settlements of the Kulunge Rāi.Starting from the cults of domestic deities, the research goes on to analyse the rituals that accompany the souls of the dead and the village farming cults, as a necessary step before dealing with the hunting cults and the hidden paths beaten by Kulunge Rāi shamans.
    • The ecstatic body: notes on Shamanism and corporeity in Nepal

      Nicoletti, Martino; University of Derby, School of Art and Design (Vajra Publications - Kathmandu, 2008)
      Based on a series of ethnographic and photographic investigations carried out in Nepal between 2000 and 2007, this essay analyses the role of the body and corporeity in Himalayan shamanism, with special reference to the ecstatic condition. The book is enriched by a considerable set of colour photos taken by the author.
    • Nomadi dell’invisibile: l’autosacrificio rituale del chöd nel Bön tibetano

      Nicoletti, Martino (Edizioni Exòrma - Roma, 2010)
      In the heart of the Himalayas, officiants belonging to Tibet’s ancient religion, Bön, undertake a long ritual pilgrimage through wild and inhospitable places inhabited by mountain deities, water genii, ferocious demons and dangerous ghosts. As the pilgrimage unfolds, having attracted the spirits’ attention with wildly provocative acts and evoking their presence by reciting a ritual text and the sound of magical musical instruments, the practitioners celebrate the meditative sacrifice of their own body (chöd), offered to a whole host of invisible beings as spiritual nourishment during a singular ritual banquet. Texts, diary excerpts and photos recount this archaic ritual, deeply rooted in the notion of Universal Compassion and chiefly aimed at severing the practitioner’s attachment to his physical body and overcoming identification with his own illusory ego. The work is also enriched by the sacred ritual text "The Secret Wisdom Ḍākinī" (Khandro Sangba Yeshe), translated for this volume by Geshe Gelek Jinpa, and by a DVD containing a short Super-8 film by the author, as well as the liturgical chöd chant performed by the monks of the bönpo monastery Triten Norbutse in Nepal.
    • The Nomadic sacrifice: the Chöd pilgrimage among the Bönpo of Dolpo (western Nepal)

      Nicoletti, Martino; University of Derby, School of Art and Design (Vajra Publications - Kathmandu, 2013)
      In the heart of the Himalayas, officiants belonging to Tibet’s ancient religion, Bön, undertake a long ritual pilgrimage through wild and inhospitable places inhabited by mountain deities, water genii, ferocious demons and dangerous ghosts. As the pilgrimage unfolds, having attracted the spirits’ attention with wildly provocative acts and evoking their presence by reciting a ritual text and the sound of magical musical instruments, the practitioners celebrate the meditative sacrifice of their own body (chöd), offered to a whole host of invisible beings as spiritual nourishment during a singular ritual banquet. Texts, diary excerpts and photos recount this archaic ritual, deeply rooted in the notion of Universal Compassion and chiefly aimed at severing the practitioner’s attachment to his physical body and overcoming identification with his own illusory ego. The work is also enriched by the sacred ritual text "The Secret Wisdom Ḍākinī" (Khandro Sangba Yeshe), translated for this volume by Geshe Gelek Jinpa, and by a DVD containing a short Super-8 film by the author, as well as the liturgical chöd chant performed by the monks of the bönpo monastery Triten Norbutse in Nepal.The book is the English edition of the work: Nicoletti, M., (2010), "Nomadi dell'invisibile: L’autosacrificio rituale del chöd nel Bön tibetano", Roma: Exorma.
    • Riddum: the sacred word of Sancha Prasad rai, shaman of the Himalayas

      Nicoletti, Martino; Gasgini, Fabrizio; University of Derby, School of Art and Design (Castelvecchi Editore - Roma, 2005)
      A book devoted to the mythology of the Kulunge Rai, an ethnic group settled in the East Nepal. The work is enriched by a large series of photos.
    • Shamanic solitudes: ecstasy, madness and spirit possession in the Nepal Himalayas

      Nicoletti, Martino; University of Derby, School of Art and Design (Vajra Publications - Kathmandu, 2006)
      An ethnographic monography devoted to the shamanic religion of the Kulunge Rai, an ethnic group of East Nepal.The work is enriched by a large set of photos and drawings.