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Tibetan Storytelling Tradition

The Chinese occupation of Tibet, which started in 1951, led to a lack of many conventional practices, together with storytelling. The wandering storytellers generally known as lami manipas or lama manis are now not sanctioned by thecurrent regime. Although they don't seem to be officially banned, their custom, which dates again to maybe the twelfth century C.E., is slowly dying out.

The lami manipas have been historically of frequent start and served a spiritual perform. They traveled round Tibet carrying small shrines and units of thangkas, that are conventional scrolls painted with spiritual themes.

The tales the lami manipas informed have been primarily based on the work and served a twin goal. They supplied entertainment and educated the viewers concerning the symbolism and meanings of the work and, by way of them, the standard Tibetan Buddhist ideas and legends. Whole villages would collect to hear these tales, particularly through the holy month of the Buddha’s start, typically chanting spiritual mantras collectively.

Another type of storytelling that has been exiled for its spiritual nature is a sort of dance. There are two main varieties, cham, which is sacred monastic dancing meant to banish evil and convey blessings, and achi lhamo, the folks dances and operas that painting ethical tales of excellent versus evil.

Despite the Chinese occupation, one conventional type of storytelling may be very a lot alive in Tibet: the recitation of the Tibetan nationwide epic, Gesar of Ling. This story of the heromagician-king is understood in all of the Himalayan nations. In neighboring Ladakh it is called Kesar’s Saga.

One of the longest epics nonetheless in lively recitation, the practically 200 episodes could take a complete of three months to recite. The episodes are recited solely at night time and within the winter, and several other nights are required to full each. The recitation is carried out by the visionary bards generally known as drungpas (male) and drungmas (feminine). It is claimed that previously, the hoofprints of Gesar’s horse would possibly magically seem in a cleared circle round which the viewers sat.