Ancestral Village Phiphuarong as the Ultimate Place of Resting: The Afterlife among the Karbi of Northeast India

Garima Plawat (Indiana University and American Folklore Society)

The concept of hell and heaven are the ontological sites of morality for several so-called world religions. The Karbi, an indigenous people in India consider their ancestral village Phiphuarong to be the soul’s ultimate resting place, denying the heaven-hell binary. How does this absence contribute to Karbi morality and identity creation? Should it be considered an absence? Further, how does this worldview fit within sites of encroachment by organised religions, consequently affecting their ideologies, identities, and vocabularies? This paper will focus on Phiphuarong as a Karbi alternative to, and critique of, hell and heaven as sites of moral thought.

Part of 03-07 Minority Peoples, Expressive Culture, and Heritage in—and from—the Southeast Asian Massif, Part 3, Thursday, November 02, 2:30 pm–4:30 pm