"LIMBUWAN IS OUR HOME, NEPAL IS OUR COUNTRY": HISTORY, TERRITORY, AND IDENTITY IN LIMBUWAN'S MOVEMENT
Chemjong, Dambar Dhoj
This dissertation investigates identity politics in Nepal and collective identities by studying the ancestral history, territory, and place-naming of Limbus in east Nepal. This dissertation juxtaposes political movements waged by Limbu indigenous people with the Nepali state makers, especially aryan Hindu ruling caste groups. This study examines the indigenous people’s history, particularly the history of war against conquerors, as a resource for political movements today, thereby illustrating the link between ancestral pasts and present day political relationships. Ethnographically, this dissertation highlights the resurrection of ancestral war heroes and invokes war scenes from the past as sources of inspiration for people living today, thereby demonstrating that people make their own history under given circumstances. On the basis of ethnographic examples that speak about the Limbus’ imagination and political movements vis-à-vis the Limbuwan’s history, it is argued in this dissertation that there can not be a singular history of Nepal. Rather there are multiple histories in Nepal, given that the people themselves are producers of their own history. Based on ethnographic data, this dissertation also aims to debunk the received understanding across Nepal that the history of Nepal was built by Kings. This dissertation is a case study of Limbu claims for their collective identity and Limbu resistance to the state of Nepal. This dissertation illustrates that identity politics in Nepal and the Limbu quest for Limbuwan identity is better studied in terms of their contending relationship with the state-led making of the collective aryan Hindu identity in Nepal over more than six centuries.
History; Asian studies; Limbu; Nepal; Cultural anthropology; identity; Limbuwan; That-thalo
Holmberg, David Hines
Fiskesjo, Nils Magnus G; March, Kathryn S.
Ph. D., Anthropology
Doctor of Philosophy
dissertation or thesis