Stepping onto sacred ground: the mazar in Uyghur day-to-day life
Keywords:Sacred space, Uighur (Turkic people), Muslims -- China, Pilgrims and pilgrimages -- Islam, Islamic saints, Everyday life, Islamic shrines, Gender, Women, Islam -- Ritual, Healing, Festivals
AbstractLike most Turkic peoples, the vast majority of the Uyghur people are Muslim and belong to the Sunni branch of Islam. Islam is a contributing factor in Uyghur identity and is manifested in daily life by a number of regulations on food, observation of religious holidays and life cycle celebrations. The point of departure here is to try to describe the ziyara as an integral part of Muslim life in the region. The mazarserves as an important reference point in the day-to-day life of the Uyghur people. Regardless of whether it is a local place of worship or a shrine that attracts pilgrims from a larger geographical area, it is a breathing space where one may escape the hardships of everyday life. At the mazar the people have a saint with whom they can identify and be inspired. The mazar is a venue in which both men and women participate—both as participants and as religious leaders.
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Copyright (c) 2010 Patrick Hällzon
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