Yates, Donna (2021) Shaligram Pilgrimage in the Nepal Himalayas. Material Religion. DOI: 10.1080/17432200.2021.1947036
Shaligram Pilgrimage in the Nepal Himalayas, by Holly Walters, is focused on shaligrams, which are simultaneously ammonite fossils that originate in the Kali Gandaki River Valley of Nepal’s Mustang District, as well as manifestations of Vishnu complete with agency, intent, and divine personhood. With that agency comes both an ability for shaligrams to form meaningful relationships (with people, with other shaligrams) and a propensity for movement, both of which then come to define the shaligrams themselves. What are shaligrams then? Shaligrams are fossils that have the right life histories to be divine persons and the will to act in that capacity.