Anne Murphy offers a groundbreaking exploration of the material aspects of Sikh identity, showing how material objects, as well as holy sites, and texts, embody and represent the Sikh community as an evolving historical and social construction.
Widening traditional scholarly emphasis on holy sites and texts alone to include consideration of iconic objects, such as garments and weaponry, Murphy moves further and examines the parallel relationships among sites, texts, and objects. She reveals that objects have played dramatically different roles across regimes-signifers of authority in one, mere possessions in another - and like Sikh texts, which have long been a resource for the construction of Sikh identity, material objects have served as a means of imagining and representing the past.
Murphy's deft and nuanced study of the complex role objects have played and continue to play in Sikh history and memory will be a valuable resource to students and scholars of Sikh history and culture.
About the author
Anne Murphy is Assistant Professor in the Department of Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia.