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 Sultava 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, t 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 ermous 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.
Razia Sultanova is Fellow at Cambridge Central Asia Forum, University of Cambridge and Director of the Centre for Central Asian music. She graduated from Uzbek State Conservatory and was awarded her PhD by Moscow State Conservatory, where she is Visiting Professor. She has also worked as a Research Fellow at Goldsmith's College and at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Her interests extend from Russian and Central Asian to Middle Eastern culture and music. Razia Sultanova was the editor of a special issue of the Journal Ethnomusicology Forum, entitled 'Music and Identity in Central Asia' (2005); a special issue of the journal Cahiers de musiques traditionelles entitled 'Entre Femmes' (2005) and the book 'Sacred Knowledge: Schools or revelation? Master-Apprentice System of Oral Transmission in the Music of the Turkic Speaking World' (2009).