By Periplus Editions
288 web page, illustrating and knowledge about:hardiness quarter map, annuals, perennials, shrubs, bushes, fruit and nut timber, cacti, succulents, orchids, ferns, cycads, climbers and creepers, and a reference desk.
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It is a general feature of classification systems of premodern societies that they make use of narratives, such as etiological myths, that always point back to the origin or "zero point" of the world, the social group, and its practices. Zygmunt Bauman recently commented that "What the fables of (pre-modern) yore set to do was to `explain' and `legitimize' the being by its birth. After birth, there was nothing left to explain. "3 One finds that the narrative components of many Tibetan rituals conform in general to such a description.
In the ritual calendar of the néri cult, in contrast, time (like space) became delinked from locality to a certain extent. The specific annual and seasonally based sense of timing in local mountain worship gave way to a more universal one aligned instead with a standardized twelve-year calendrical cycle along with new ideas about the regular mobility and congregation of mountain deities. 32 The designated animal year can be a time for the staging of major mountain pilgrimages, such as processions, or be regarded as the most auspicious period during which to visit a particular néri.
The origins of the néri mountain cult can be identified with a definite milieu of religious and social change on the Tibetan plateau. One must ask why, during a certain period, a new and sophisticated way of defining such mountains arose and what the social and cultural conditions attendant on this process were, and one must consider the implications of this innovation as well as the enduring popularity of these sites and their rituals. Here I will show that the néri cult appeared in connection with concerted Tibetan élite attempts to convert their culture thoroughly to a Buddhist one.
500 Popular Tropical Plants by Periplus Editions