"Women are the pillars of Our Culture": Bohna as a resurgent cloth among the Dhimal


  • Janak Rai




Cloth, Bohna, Dhimal, activism, ethnic identity


Bohna is the traditional ethnic dress woven and worn by Dhimal women. It is an everyday dress which Dhimal women wear it in all kinds of social spaces and events: home, fields, markets, cinema halls, colleges, mela, and other places. In the recent decades, with the resurgence of indigenous political movements and Dhimals' localized social movements for revival of their customary practices, bohna has emerged as a powerful marker of Dhimal indigenous identity. This paper examines the historical, cultural and political embeddedness of bohna in Dhimal society. The paper highlights the creative agency of Dhimal women by showing how weaving and exchange of bohna recreate and connect the embedded relations of affection, exchange and mutual obligations between Dhimal women.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3126/dsaj.v8i0.10724

Dhaulagiri Journal of Sociology and Anthropology Vol. 8, 2014; 99-112


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Author Biography

Janak Rai

Rai, Janak Ph.D. is a lecturer in anthropology and has been teaching at Tri-Chandra College, Tribhuvan University since 1998. Mr. Rai’s research interests include: indigenous politics, caste, class and ethnic relations, the state, place, kinship, and historical anthropology. He has done research works on indigenous knowledge, ethnomedicine, gender and caste system, conflict mediation at community, history of bonded labor, and others. Besides teaching and research, Mr. Rai has worked for various national and international organizations as a consultant. He is awarded PhD degree from the department of anthropology at University of Michigan, USA. The title of dissertation is “Activism as a Moral Practice: Cultural Politics, Place Making and Indigenous Movements in Nepal” (2013). He has coauthored two books and published many articles.




How to Cite

Rai, J. (2014). "Women are the pillars of Our Culture": Bohna as a resurgent cloth among the Dhimal. Dhaulagiri Journal of Sociology and Anthropology, 8, 99–112. https://doi.org/10.3126/dsaj.v8i0.10724