The Bon Landscape of Dolpo

Pilgrimages, Monasteries, Biographies and the Emergence of Bon

by Marietta Kind (Author)
©2012 Thesis 570 Pages


The reader is taken on a journey to Dolpo, one of Nepal’s remotest Tibetan enclaves with a large community that follow the Bon religion. The present ethnography regards the landscape of Dolpo as the temporary result of an ongoing cumulative cultural process that emerges from the interaction of the natural environment and the communities that inhabit it and endow it with meaning. Pilgrimage provides the key to structuring the book, which is based on anthropological research and the study of the textual legacy. Along the extensive and richly illustrated Bon pilgrimages through Dolpo, the various strands of the written and the oral, the local and the general, the past and present are unrolled step by step and woven into a pattern that provides a first insight into the partial shift from a landscape inhabited by territorial deities to a Bon landscape. In addition, it presents an overview of the main protagonists who discovered the sacred sites, opened pilgrimages, founded monasteries and disseminated the crucial Bon teachings. A number of well-known Tibetan figures emerge among these players thanks to translations of biographies that have survived in rare and unpublished manuscripts. This book sheds light on how Bon religion emerged in Dolpo and has remained alive.


ISBN (Hardcover)
Kulturanthropologie Buddhismus Nord- und Innerasien Südostasien Tibetologie Religionsethnologie
Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2012. 570 pp., num. ill., 2 maps.

Biographical notes

Marietta Kind (Author)

The anthropologist Marietta Kind gained her PhD at the Universities of Zurich and Oxford. She has worked as a lecturer and research fellow at the Ethnographic Museum of Zurich University. With her Tapriza NGO she supports a school in Dolpo and the cultural heritage of this region. Her latest research project at Bern University is concerned with second generation Tibetans in Switzerland and their relation to Buddhism.


Title: The Bon Landscape of Dolpo