Carla Bellamy

in The Powerful Ephemeral

Published by University of California Press

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780520262805
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520950450 | DOI:

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This chapter studies the primary healing practices of Husain Tekrī. One of these is the ritual burning of lobān and the pilgrims' inhalation of its smoke. The chapter uses the pilgrims' narratives, participant observation, and a survey in order to explain the popularity and efficacy of lobān and several other healing processes that are common in the Husain Tekrī. The chapter also discusses Mauss's discussion of gift exchange and shows that lobān, when understood as a gift, helps confirm Mauss's suggestion that gifts retain a trace of their giver.

Keywords: healing practices; ritual burning; lobān; gift exchange

Chapter.  14142 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Islam

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