Sikh Materialities

Anne Murphy

in The Materiality of the Past

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

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This chapter discusses texts as physical manifestations of the word of the Guru; objects used or gifted by the Guru; sites associated with the Guru in a Sikh historical landscape; the markers of the Khalsa, available for all members of the community—all of which represent different modalities of the material representation of the Sikh community in relation to the past, each contributing to the construction and experience of a Sikh historical imaginary. Multiple modes can be present in a single instance: objects of exchange articulate and substantiate authority; they also create a relationship with the Gurus who have possessed them and they act, therefore, along the lines Trainor has articulated for Buddhist relics, as “technologies of remembrance” or “objects of memory.” The histories that enliven these objects provide a frame for them, within which they are made meaningful.

Keywords: Sikh materiality; Sikh past; objects; sites; gurdwaras; Sikh Gurus; martyrs; Khalsa; remembrance; memory

Chapter.  21070 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Sikhism

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