Appendix III: Glossary

Aba san Fast observed by women at certain temples to test the husband’s and in-laws’ attitude to the marriage. If they come to fetch her, the marriage continues; if not, it is regarded as a de facto divorce.

Agamdyo Secret deity tied to a patrilineal kin-group.

Ajima Grandmother Goddesses, who are thought to reside at crossroads. They are propitiated at birth and death and are regarded as malevolent, as they are thought to cause problems, particularly children’s diseases, if they are not propitiated.

Bahal Residential compound, which is also regarded as a “monastery.”

Bali Dues given to guthis.

Baratayegu (Bara) The seclusion of girls in a dark room for twelve days before they reach puberty. The Baratayegu should be observed before the girls begin to menstruate.

Bau khwa swayegu To see father’s face. This is the Newari “father’s day,” when children honour their fathers.

Bholi (bhonni) Person who serves the food at feasts.

Bhoye Feast.

Bhoye jho Line in which the eaters sit at feasts.

Bhutu Hearth.

Bhutu phaye The annual counting of the village’s hearths performed at the Mangsir Bala-Kumari yatra in Sunakothi.

Bicaguthi Guthi that takes care of the mourners in a household where a death has recently occurred.

Bu san khan Birth hair cutting. This rite is the first time a boy’s hair is cut, and it is performed before the Kyetapuja, which integrates the boy child into the caste.

Buddhamarga The path of Buddha.

Bya ja nakégu The feeding of boiled rice to frogs which occurs in Sravan on the day of Janaipurnima.

Caitya Buddhist monument raised by persons or institutions in order to gain religious merit.

Chey (Che) House.

Cipa (Chipu) Pollution, polluted stuff.

Dakhihla Rituals and a feast, one year after a death. This is the last major mourning feast after a demise.

Dasai (Dussein)The Nepali name for Mohani (see below). An eleven day period of feasts and rituals observed in the autumn.

Devanagari The script in which Nepali, Newari, Hindi, and several other languages on the sub-continent are written.

Dharni Nepalese weight, approximately 2.5 kg.

Digudyo God worshipped by the patrilineage. The Digudyo cult is exclusive to the members of the patrilineage.

Duchayenke Ritual occasion when the groom is “included” into his bride’s circle of relatives.

Duru chya chya yatra A festival in Kathmandu observed in the winter. The name means the feast (lit., journey) of babies weeping for milk.

Dyo chaye Share offered to the Gods at meals.

Dyochey Temple where an image of a God is kept. Many of the Newari deities are worshipped both as images and in piths where they are represented by stones.

Ganesh Than Local Ganesh temple.

Ghasu Ritual and feast observed on the twelfth day after a death.

Ghyöcaku sanlu A feast when one eats ghee and molasses.

Gubhaju Buddhist priest.

Gunla The month of Buddha’s enlightenment.

Guthi Ritual society. Guthis generally hold land and devote their activity to worship and the performance of various social services.

Holi Festival at the full moon of the month Phagun, when people feast and throw colours at each other.

Jilajan duchakegu See Duchaayenke

Janko Initiation.

Jati The Sanskrit word for caste, lineage, race, etc. It is also used in Hindi, Nepali, and Newari.

Jyajanko Initiation of the old.

Kaladyo A form of Siva that resides at crossroads. At the Ghasu the polluted leftovers from the meal are thrown at the Kalaga, lit., the pit of Kala. Thus, Kaladyo accepts polluted offerings.

Khoka Red thread or strip of cloth. At sacrifices such threads are moistened with sacrificial blood and then put around the necks of the participants.

Khula Ritual and a feast, observed half a year after a death

Khwa swa wanegu Rite at marriage, when the bride’s kinsmen fetch her from the groom’s household to “see her face.”

Kucima Chief-lady of a household, generally the eldest, though if the eldest is a widow her ritual duties and functions as a hostess may be taken over by a younger woman.

Kwokali Young.

Kyetapuja Boys’ initiation rite.

Laksmipuja Ritual when the Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped in the storage room in order to increase the household’s wealth.

Lami Lit., go-between. The lami is the middleman, or woman, in marriage negotiations.

Lamaju Lit., water will not do. The castes “clean” castes do not accept water from are collectively referred to as lamaju.

Latya Rituals accompanied by a mourning meal one and a half months after a death.

Limha Lit., follower. Child who accompanies a woman who goes out.

Macabu benke Purification rite observed after childbirth.

Ma khwa swayegu To “see mother’s face.” This is the Newari “mother’s day” when children honour their mother.

Mala ja nakégu Ceremony in which maiden girls are fed boiled rice.

Mana Nepalese measure, approximately 750cm3.

Mandala Sacred patterns which occur in various ritual contexts. They are drawn with flour and oil in the Mha and Kija pujas, carved in stone on monuments, painted at religious pictures, etc.

Mhayemaca Daughters.

Mhapuja Worship of the body, which is performed in the evening of the first day of the Newari Year.

Mohani. A two week period of rituals observed in the autumn. In Nepali it is known as Dasai.

Nayemha Headmen. Village or other community leaders.

Nepal Bhasa Nepali for the Newari language.

Nepal Bhaye Newari for the Newari language.

Nhaynbhu Observance on the seventh day after a death.

Nichaybhu Rite in which women is accepted as pure and “mixed” with her in-laws at Uray marriages.

Nipa Pure stuff.

Paha yaye Entertaining guests.

Phuki Agnatic kinsmen.

Prasad Food offered to a deity which is afterwards eaten by the devotee.

Puja Worship.

Pujabhu Plate with ritual items used at rituals an in worship.

Ropani Land measure, approximately 500m2. However, the size of the ropani may be uncertain, as in the past it was sometimes determined by the yield.

Sakimila punhi The full moon of saki seeds.

Sanya duling The eighth of the bright half of the moon dedicated to                fermented fish.

Satya Narayan An important Hindu observance during the month of Magha. During this month the Swasthani is recited.

Si Ritual sharing of animal head or a fowl’s body.

Sivamarga The path of Siva.

Sivaratri Siva’s night, literally. This is a major national observance that takes place in the month Phagun.

Sunti Period of ritual observances in the late autumn. Most important of these are Laksmipuja, Mhapuja, [Si1] and Kijapuja.

Thakali Old. Eldest man.

Thakalinakin Eldest woman.

Thiyemaju Untouchable. Lit., touch will not do.

Tihar A festival when Parbatya women fast, dress in red, and dance in order to honour Siva. It is not generally observed by Newari women, though those who work in Government offices get the day off.

Tika Stripe of colour applied by Hindus on the forehead. Sometimes mistakenly thought by westerners to be a mark of caste. Tika may have variations, which include plastic stars, grain, ashes, soot, etc.

Tole Locality.

Ukhucare The fourteenth of the dark half (of the moon) when one eats sugarcane (ukhu).

Brta Fasts and other religious observances.

Yomari punhi An important festival when one eats fig breads (Yomari) made from rice.


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