Rites of Passage in Baltistan: A Case Study of Village Keris, District Khaplu

Anwaar Mohyuddin, Mamonah Ambreen


This paper deals with research findings regarding rites of passage, the initiation ceremonies such as birth, transitions early days to puberty, coming of age, marriage and death. These ceremonies are ritual events that mark a person's transition from one status to another, between childhood and full inclusion into a tribe or social group. Rites of passage show anthropologists what social hierarchies, values and beliefs are important in specific cultures. The present research was conducted in village Keris in District Khaplu Baltistan. Ethnic distribution of the population along with the initiation ceremonies performed by the natives in Baltistan has been discussed in detail. Their reciprocal relationship, gift exchange especially at the eve of birth and marriages and the meals served during the ceremonies has also been discussed. Social roles performed by different relatives as well as the outsiders have been included. Social hierarchy and the marriage preferential system have also been highlighted. The data presented in this paper has been collected by using qualitative anthropological research techniques.

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