NIAS-CSP Friday Online Lecture-Mr. Rakesh Kumar will speak on "A Wide-Eyed Man at the Capital of Black Magic (AABHICHARA)"


 NIAS-CSP Friday Online Lecture 

Organised by NIAS Consciousness Studies Programme, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Indian Institute of Science campus, Bengaluru 560012

Topic: "A Wide-Eyed Man at the Capital of Black Magic (AABHICHARA)" 

 Speaker: Rakesh Kumar

Introduction & About NIAS CSP Friday Lectures: Niharika Sharma

Chairperson:  Meera Kumar Menon

Date: 25 September 2020

Time: 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Venue: Zoom online meeting - RSVP to with your full name and Institute/Affiliation/Address to receive the Zoom link and attend the lecture

About the Speaker: Rakesh Kumar is working as a Research Associate with the Consciousness Studies Program at the National Institute of Advanced Studies. He has completed his Bachelors in AIHC & Archaeology (2016) from Banaras Hindu University (BHU)and Masters in Archaeology (2018) from Deccan College Post Graduate and Research Institute, Pune.

He is currently pursuing his PhD. entitled “Indigenous Knowledge of Healing Among Tribes of Nilambur Valley, Kerala: A Study of Cross-Cultural Landscape Across Ethnic Boundaries” under supervision of Prof. Sangeetha Menon (Dean & Head, School of Humanities, National Institute of Advanced Studies, IISc Campus, Bangalore) and Co- Supervision of Prof Vasant S. Shinde (Former vice-chancellor, Deccan College Post Graduate and Research Institute, Pune.

Abstract: Magic (yatuvidya) and Medicine were intertwined in ancient civilization and are acutely embedded in folk healing culture. It includes Jarana, Mohanam Vidya,  Marana Vidya, Bhuta Vidya and Visha Vidya. The indigenous knowledge magico-medicinal practices (MMPs), as a cultural intangible heritage has been widely discussed by anthropologists, historians and fictional novelists. Whereas, in the information age ‘magic’ in the form of practical art is hemmed in techniques like spells and rites handed over by ‘direct filiation’ to a cohort from one generation to another, a self-constrained act centred on the various tenant of beliefs, and are considered as a confused ideology by the common man. The focus of this talk has been placed to the ethnoarchaeological investigation of the black magic (abhichāra) practices of Mayong, Assam through the re-elucidation of the material culture and symbolism used for magico-medicinal practices (MMPs) or magical practices (MPs). Whereas, the fundamental objective is to critically review the existing archaeo-anthropological as well as a socio-cultural approach to MMPs or MPs, in which they have been diminished to the extent of social exclusion.

If you have a question or a suggestion for a speaker, email the Coordinators of NIAS CSP Friday Lecture - Niharika Sharma and Meera Kumar Menon.  

Friday, September 25, 2020