Unmaking the Taazia Symbol from a Structural Perspective


  • Abid Ghafoor Chaudhry Chairman/ Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology PMAS-Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi
  • Aneela Sultana
  • Mahwish Zeeshan Lecturer, Department of Anthropology PMAS-Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi


Taazia, Azaadari, Ashura rituals, Symbolism, Karbala, Martyrdom of Hussain, Mourning rituals


Tradition and symbols are pervasive across cultures. Religio-cultural traditions are thought to have multiple origins and genres with
somewhat related meanings. The Taazia myth dates back to the reign of Tamerlane in the South Asian context. Taazia was a ritual of religious syncretism in this region. It is now a common ritual observed generally by Muslims and specifically by Shia Ithna’ashari1 Muslims in commemoration of the martyrdom of the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). It is highly symbolic and accompanied by mourning rituals. The very symbol revolves around the Karbala paradigm and the connected mourning rituals, or condolence towards the progeny of the Prophet through this ritual. The study on tradition of Taazia encompasses the evolution of this symbol diachronically in a South Asian perspective by applying the structural approach. Taazia symbolism is associated to related artifacts of sacred category used in azaadari, which are analyzed in the context of selected sites and prevalent styles of Taazias in Punjab and Sindh. The association of physical artifacts to human thought or behavior is symbolic. In this way, the very symbol (Taazia) is analyzed along with similar religious facts uncovering the inherent relationships of the units integrated in a
whole (azaadari).




How to Cite

Ghafoor Chaudhry, A. ., Sultana, A., & Zeeshan, M. (2021). Unmaking the Taazia Symbol from a Structural Perspective. Journal of Asian Civilizations, 43(1), 41–66. Retrieved from https://jac.qau.edu.pk/index.php/jac/article/view/17