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Ethnologist/anthropologist, emeritus senior researcher at Centre d’Études de l’Inde et de l’Asie du Sud (CEIAS)

Contact : veronique.bouillier [at]

Her research first focused on the social organization and history of Shaivite ascetic castes in Nepal : Jangam, Dasnami Sannyasi, Kusle-Kapali, Kanphata Yogi. They all have in common their ability to reconcile an ascetic heritage with their belonging to caste society. Through the study of historical documents about these sects (land endowments, monastic foundation acts, judicial records, etc.), Véronique Bouillier was able to shed light on adaptation processes and how they were affected by royal power.

With a main interest still in the interface between asceticism and society, she then turned to the study of the monastic structures set up by the Kanphata Yogi sect. She devoted a study (presented in the book Ascètes et Rois) to a Nepalese monastery before pursuing her research in India, with the study of several sites in Rajasthan, Karnataka and Haryana. Her latest book (Itinérance et vie monastique) presents an overview of how this sect operates institutionally, including discussions about the forms that have ensured its prevalence since the Middle Ages as well as its contemporary transformations, brought about by a change in patronage.

She has also investigated the relationships between Nath Yogis and Islam through the study of emblematic figures.

She is currently preparing a book in English which summarises the most important findings of her work on Nath Yogis, as they have been presented in articles and books previously published in French.

Moreover, she has recently taken an interest in a new area of research : the ethnography of legal practices in France with regard to communities of South Asian origin, especially in criminal courts.


- Nepal (Kabre Palancok, Gorkha, Kathmandu and Dang-Deukhuri districts)

- India (Rajasthan : Shekhavati, Jaipur, Jodhpur ; Karnataka : Mangalore ; Haryana ; Punjab)

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