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Divine Messengers: The Untold Story of Bhutan's Female Shamans

The Untold Story of Bhutan's Female Shamans

Author: Stephanie Guyer-Stevens and Francoise Pommaret  

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PRODUCT INFORMATION

Description

The first intimate narrative account of the living tradition of female shamanism in Bhutanese culture from an award-winning journalist and a celebrated anthropologist. In the pristine Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, famous for its peaceful Buddhist religion and monasteries on mountain peaks, female shamans fill an important spiritual role as mystics and healers. These women communicate with local spirits, cure diseases through prayer, and travel to the netherworld and return to communicate their encounters with the dead and the horrors of the hell realms. Their spiritual authority is immensely important to their communities, but is often overlooked in the male-dominated monastic institutions traditionally associated with Tibetan Buddhism. Journalist Stephanie Guyer-Stevens and anthropologist Francoise Pommaret traveled to the Himalayas to meet the living female shamans of Bhutan. Divine Messengers is their written account of the extraordinary lives of seven Bhutanese female shamans and their reflections on the centrality of the divine feminine in Himalayan Buddhism. The book shares their stories, including their accounts of falling dead and communing with the Lord of the Dead; predicting someone's wellbeing or misfortune through divination; consciously reincarnating in order to help others; and retaining their important roles in society outside of formal Buddhist lineages and hierarchies.

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About the Author

STEPHANIE GUYER-STEVENS is an award-winning journalist and executive producer of Outer Voices, a multi-media organization that focuses on women leaders from remote parts of the globe. In this capacity she has produced or co-produced nine radio documentaries, broadcast on American public radio stations and internationally, and produced dozens of features for NPR. Additionally she has produced numerous audio-centric multimedia presentations for exhibitions in across the world.FRANCOISE POMMARET is a French anthropologist whose research focuses on Bhutan where she has worked since 1981 participating in tourism, educational, and cultural projects. She holds the position of Director of Research at the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS). Pommaret works as an adviser to the Institute of Language and Culture Studies (ILCS), Royal University of Bhutan, has been a consultant for UNESCO, and is the author of Bhutan: Himalayan Mountain Kingdom and Lhasa in the Seventeenth Century: The Capital of the Dalai Lamas .

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Product Details

Publisher
Shambhala Publications Inc
Published
14th December 2021
Pages
192
ISBN
9781611809183
$41.02
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