Connecting the highlands and lowlands of Bhutan through pilgrimage to sacred sites

Author(s): Liza Zogib

Year: 2015


The small Himalayan mountain kingdom of Bhutan is in itself a high land. However within the country there exist many unarticulated highland-lowland dynamics and dichotomies: economic power of the lowlands versus spiritual power of the highlands; modernization and opening of the lowlands versus tradition and closure of the highlands, and so forth. Establishing the right balance between these and others is critical as the country opens up into the 21st Century. This presentation will discuss some of these important highland-lowland dynamics and will focus in particular on peoples’ religious beliefs and practices in this context. One powerful connecting factor that will be explored is the movement from lowlands to uplands in spiritual pilgrimage to sacred sites. A discussion on the traditions of using high places for spiritual quest and how this relates to lowland populations will begin to highlight the non-division between the two. And a look at the sacred natural sites themselves will underline the great need for true holism as we look towards protecting complex cultural landscapes around the world.

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Cite this Record

Connecting the highlands and lowlands of Bhutan through pilgrimage to sacred sites. Liza Zogib. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396477)


Geographic Keywords
South Asia

Spatial Coverage

min long: 59.678; min lat: 4.916 ; max long: 92.197; max lat: 37.3 ;