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Harnessing FortunePersonhood, Memory and Place in Mongolia$
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Rebecca M. Empson

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780197264737

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197264737.001.0001

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The Ambiguous Power of Fire and Sites of Accumulation

The Ambiguous Power of Fire and Sites of Accumulation

Chapter:
(p.268) 8 The Ambiguous Power of Fire and Sites of Accumulation
Source:
Harnessing Fortune
Author(s):

Rebecca M. Empson

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197264737.003.0009

In Ashinga's district centre, wealth is increasingly visible in the form of people's elaborately constructed wooden houses. This chapter shows that these static displays have, over the past decade, become the target of serious arson attacks. Such attacks bring to the fore memories of past terrors where people's property was confiscated in the dead of night. But the threat of arson should not be viewed simply as an extension of a previous terror. Instead, through a focus on Mongolian ideas about fire, arson appears as a form of purification, as people question the morality of their new means of accumulating wealth and power.

Keywords:   Ashinga, wealth, arson, property, purification

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