The Day of the Lion: A Ladakhi Shia Ritual Determined by the Zodiacal Calendar

  • David Pinault


I knew my problems had taken a turn for the worse when I saw that the camouflage netting had been removed from the artillery that lined the highway. Gun crews crouched tensely behind each howitzer; loaders rammed home shells. And then I saw an officer raise his arm and slash the air in an unmistakable signal: fire.


Religious Scholar Mountain Height Guest Room Zodiacal Sign Buddhist Monastery 
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  1. 1.
    Amar Singh Chohan, Historical Study of Society and Culture in Dardistan and Ladakh (Delhi: Atlantic Publishers, 1983), 109–10.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    On this topic see also Martijn van Beek, “Battle of the Loudspeakers Continues,” Ladakh Studies (Aarhus, Denmark) 10 (Summer 1998), 6–7.Google Scholar
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    Sheikh Muhammad Mahdi al-Mazandarani al-Ha’iri, Ma’ali al-sibtayn fi ahwal al-Hasan wa-al-Husain (Najaf: Matba’at al-Nu’man, 1960), vol. 1, 143. The passage appears in a chapter entitled “Fi fadl al-baka’ ’alayhi” (“On the Virtue of Weeping for Him [i.e, for Husain]”).Google Scholar
  4. 9.
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  5. 10.
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    On the topic of IKMT-Islamiya School clashes in Kargil, see also Martijn van Beek, “Muharram Procession Banned in Kargil,” Ladakh Studies 10 (Summer 1998), 7.Google Scholar
  10. 18.
    On the persecution of the Hazara Shias and political rivalry between Iran and Pakistan in Afghanistan, see Peter Marsden, The Taliban: War, Religion, and the New Order in Afghanistan (London: Zed Books, 1998), 55, 135, 143–44. See also Ahmed Rashid, Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil, and Fundamentalism in Central Asia (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000), 196–206.Google Scholar
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    On the traditional reputation of mullahs among Iranians, see Roy Mottahedeh, The Mantle of the Prophet: Religion and Politics in Iran (New York: Pantheon Books, 1985), 351–52.Google Scholar
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    Grist, op. cit., p. 94, notes the same phenomenon concerning the use of the title hajji in Ladakh’s Suru Valley.Google Scholar

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© David Pinault 2001

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  • David Pinault

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