• 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.
    • Chaturman Rai: fotografo contadino dell'Himalaya

      Nicoletti, Martino; University of Derby, School of Art and Design (Edizioni Exòrma - Roma, 2010)
      Combining anthropological and aesthetical perspectives, the book presents original photographic work by Chaturman Rai, a wholly self-trained folk-photographer living in one of the remotest areas of the Himalayas.
    • 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.
    • "Seeds of Sound in the Autumn of Power" : quattro cd dedicati alle musiche sacre dello Himalaya ("Seeds of Sound in the Autumn of Power": Four CDs devoted to the sacred musical heritage of the Himalayas)

      Nicoletti, Martino; University of Derby, School of Art and Design (Centro Studi Orientali Roma, 2013-04-14)
      An article devoted to the publication of four CDs belonging to the collection "Seeds of Sound in the Autumn of Power" (directed by Dr. Martino Nicoletti) and devoted to the sacred musical heritage of the Himalayas.
    • 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.
    • Shamans of the East: ritual songs of the Himalayan Kulung Shamanic Tradition

      Nicoletti, Martino; University of Derby, School of Art and Design (Firenze - Bologna: A-Buzz Supreme - Stenopeica, 2013)
      The CD presents two of the most characteristic liturgical songs still widespread in the shamanic tradition of the Kulung Tibeto-Burman minority of eastern Nepal. The first is an invocation of the shaman’s guardian spirits and guiding deities. Usually performed in the Nepali language at the beginning of each ecstatic Kulung shamanic séance, the song, in mentioning a vast host of invisible beings relating to specific cosmic regions (sky, earth, underworld) or places of the natural habitat (snowy mountains, wood, lakes, etc), is believed to possess the singular faculty of creating an invisible bridge between the officiant and the invisible world as well as helping the shaman himself in inducing a specific form of trance. This trance is a distinctive feature of any Kulunge shamanic ritual, and the efficacy of any séance is firmly rooted in the shaman’s ability to produce, control and direct it toward the specific goals of the rite. The second track is a hunting chant, usually performed in the ritual Kulung language on the occasion of the ritual offering of game to the tribe’s ancestors and the invisible spirit of the forest. Settled in one of the most remote and enchanting regions of eastern Nepal, the Kulung are one of the last Himalayan ethnic groups to hand down, even today, an archaic form of hunting of specific species of wild quadrupeds in the form of a complex and highly ritualised practice. According to Kulung tradition, the hunting expedition is preceded, accompanied and followed by various liturgical songs – sung in a sacred and secret ritual language – believed to possess the power of ingratiating the invisible entities of the wilderness, propitiating the hunt and facilitating the obtainment of an “invisible essence” (ji), hidden in the thick of the forest, on which the prosperity of the village is deemed to depend, as well as the vital force and health of its people. A recurrent theme of these songs is the account of the mythical hunt for an invisible archetypal stag and the description of the mystic journey accomplished by the souls of the hunters – here acting in a double role as huntsmen and priests – in search of prosperity and invisible strength. Both these qualities are concealed in specific “power sources” spread throughout the forest where the hunt takes place and scattered over the its studded mountain peaks. The songs on this CD are superbly performed by Mekhe Kulung, one of the most renowned contemporary shamans of the Kulung tribe. Track 1: Ritual hunting song Track 2: Invocations to invisible masters and protector spirits Scientific researches, recording organisation and supervision: Martino Nicoletti; Sound engineering and post-production: Roberto Passuti; Label: Stenopeica – A Buzz Supreme.