Focusing on mazars in the Fergana Valley, this article develops, rather than an interdisciplinary, a multidisciplinary approach to worship places.  From varied perspective the paper examines successively the mazars’ historical evolution from ancient times (in Mazdean cults, in particular) till the present; their geographical situation (regional, provincial, district-wide, local); the cult performed mixing natural, practical and immaterial elements; the mazars’ spatial orientations; the question of their origin; their formation according to their socio-economic environment (whether sedentary agrarian or pastoral nomadic); their various roles in fields like ecology, settlement, exchange, health; the pilgrimage and the regulation of the pilgrims’ behaviour. This last point would have deserved a comparative analysis at the scale of the world of Islam insofar as such a regulation can be regarded only as a part of a larger phenomenon. The different sections are all characterised by a neo-materialist perspective which seeks to avoid a strictly religious anthropology.

Alexandre Papas, National Centre for Scientific Research, Paris
CER: I-5.3.D-487