Anne Murphy

in The Materiality of the Past

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199916276
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199980253 | DOI:

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This introductory chapter begins with examples demonstrating the rich meanings of Sikh objects. Through such objects, the past is experienced and proved, and history narrated and performed for a transnational religious community, within religious settings as well as cultural, artistic, and political ones. They refer to the memory of the ten Sikh Gurus, from the first, Guru Nanak (1469–1539), to the final embodied human Guru, Gobind Singh (1666–1708), and of other important persons revered by the community of Sikhs. As such, they act as links with, or memorial technologies to recuperate, the past. In this capacity, they are related to another form of materializing the Sikh past: the gurdwara. The discussion then turns to the history and the formation of the Sikh community, followed by an overview of the two main sections of the book. Finally, the chapter considers the strong relationship between the articulation of Sikh history and the mapping of Sikh territory.

Keywords: Sikh objects; Sikh community; Sikh Gurus; territory; gurdwara

Chapter.  7830 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Sikhism

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