From Shamanism to Sufism Women, Islam and Culture in Central Asia Razia Sultanova

Women have traditionally played a vital part in Islam throughout Central Asia – the vast area from the Caspian Sea to Siberia. With this ground-breaking and original study, Razia Sultanova examines the experiences of Muslim women in the region and the ways in which religion has shaped their daily lives and continues to do so today. >From Shamanism to Sufism explores the fundamental interplay between religious belief and the cultural heritage of music and dance, and is the first book to focus particularly on the role of women.

Ritual and music are at the heart of Central Asian and Islamic culture, not only at weddings and funerals but in all aspects of everyday life. Through her in-depth analysis of these facets of cultural life within Central Asian society, From Shamanism to Sufism offers important insights into the lives of the societies in the region.

The role of women has often been neglected in studies of religious culture and this book fills an enormous gap, restoring women to their rightful historical and cultural context. It will be essential reading for anyone with a serious interest in the history or religion of Central Asia or in Global Islam.


Chapter 1: Historical Overview

Chapter 2: Shamanism in Central Asian nomadic culture

Chapter 3: Sufism in Central Asia

Chapter 4: Female Sufism: historical overview

Chapter 5: Transmission of Sacred Knowledge

Chapter 6: Music and Female Sufis

Chapter 7: Interaction of Shamanism and Sufism

Chapter 8: Female music making

Chapter 9: Female folk Sufism

Chapter 10: Female rituals led by Otin-Oys

Chapter 11: Otin-Oy in the neighbouring areas

Razia Sultanova a Fellow at Cambridge Central Asia Forum, University of Cambridge. She has also worked as a Research Fellow at Goldsmith’s College and at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

Binding | 216 x 134mm | 256 pages | ISBN-9781848853096 | Illustrated |

January 2011

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