Children of the Abyss: Non-Human Lineages and ‘Spirit’ Genealogies in an Indigenous Himalayan Community

Claire S. Scheid ()

In Arunachal Pradesh, India, in the far Eastern Himalayas, the ethnic community of the Adi chronicle their history through Abang, oral narratives that a specific sub-set of ritual specialists (Abang miri) recite in a restricted, hieratic language. The Abang chronicles the genealogy of the universe as it—and all its beings—are descended from the common root of keyum (abyss/void/nothingness). Based on fieldwork conducted over 10 years in Adi communities, this paper explores genealogies that locate humans as the siblings of the wilderness and children of the abyss.

Part of 02-05 The Interspecies Folklore of Humans and Other Animals, Thursday, November 02, 10:30 am–12:30 pm