Article ID: CBB001201778

Water as a Vital Substance in Post-Socialist Kyrgyzstan (2013)


n Kyrgyzstan, water can be a highly charged substance. Coming from snow-melt and glacial sources in the mountains and associated with all that is clean and cleansing, it is both politically significant and deemed to have the power to heal. Compared to other Central Asian states, there is an abundance of water in Kyrgyzstan. However, its use in hydro-electric power creates significant tensions between Kyrgyz and down-stream Uzbeks who lack water, negotiating for it in exchange for gas. But as well as being negotiated for power, water has its own power. At mazars (holy sites) people come to the waterfalls and springs to collect water for healing, carrying wheel-chairs across the rocks, and taking the water away in bottles. In the Soviet era, healing springs were transformed into sanatoria, or hot baths, the minerals contained in the water listed on posters to reinforce the "scientific" reasons for them being beneficial for health. In contemporary Kyrgyzstan, healers can imbue water with power, but it can also have its own force and affect people, cleansing and protecting them. This paper explores the range of manifestations of power in water and the different kinds of reasoning people apply to explain its potency in the region. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]


Description On the healing powers of water.

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Authors & Contributors
Hirt, Paul W.
Halliwell, Martin
Toulalan, Sarah
Kouloumentas, Stavros
Witte, Wilfried
Burdin, Ye. A.
Research in the History of Technology
Historical Research: The Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research
British Journal for the History of Philosophy
VIET: Voprosy Istorii Estestvoznaniia i Tekhniki
Late Imperial China
Journal of Literature and Science
University Press of Kansas
Rutgers University Press
NUS Press
Johns Hopkins University Press
Harvard University
McGill-Queen's University Press
Medicine and politics
Medicine and culture
Public understanding of medicine
Disease and diseases
Hydroelectric power
Fromm, Erich
Erikson, Erik H.
Menninger, Family
Marcuse, Herbert
Goffman, Erving
Alcmaeon of Crotona
Time Periods
20th century, late
20th century, early
20th century
19th century
21st century
Soviet Union
Pacific Northwest (North America)
United States

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