Manusya, Journal of Humanities

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This paper aims to identify the construction of the sacredness of the Mekong River through folk narratives created by the communities of Tibet, China, Burma, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, located along the banks of the Mekong River. In this paper, the sacralization of the Mekong River is explained through four major kinds of folk narrative; firstly, those about the origin and the characteristics of the Mekong River; secondly, narratives about sacred objects and sacred places; thirdly, narratives about sacred animals and sacred trees; and fourthly, narratives explaining rituals and traditions. This paper discusses the relationship between the Mekong River and folk Buddhism through folk narratives, beliefs and rites that exist among the riverine communities along the Mekong River. This paper will shed light on the folk perspective of the Mekong River as a sacred river through the folk narratives related to the Lord Buddha. Overall, the analysis in this paper indicates the influence and the integration of Buddhism in the folk perception and folk beliefs on the Mekong River.

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