Manifesting Gods and Remedial Faults: The Masta Cult of Western Nepal
Author: Hayami Yasuno
This study is an ethnographic exploration of the Masta cult of a Brahman village named Ludku in the Sija Valley in the Karnali Basin of Western Nepal. It clarifies how the Brahmans turn to the oracular deities, Mastas, when they fall victims to human injustice and supernatural afflictions and that the Mastas work as agents of dos which is translated as remedial faults in opposition to pap (sin) which is generally beyond redemption. The Mastas possess mediums called dhamis who give advice as oracles. Their bhit (power) is not only in possession, but also in rendering justice to resolve the disputes and alleviate misfortune.