Beh, Ngangbi Rabney: Day Two [Close shot]Additional title: Martial Dance
NamesCore of Culture (Organization) (Producer)Core of Culture (Organization) (Donor)
Bhutan Dance Project, Core of Culture
Dates / OriginDate Created: 2006
Library locationsJerome Robbins Dance DivisionShelf locator: *MGZIDF 975B
TopicsDance -- BhutanFolk dancing -- BhutanDance -- Religious aspects -- BuddhismRites & ceremonies -- BhutanSword-dance -- BhutanDzongs -- Bhutan -- Bumthang (District)Bumthang (Bhutan : District)Festivals -- BhutanRitual and ceremonial dancing -- Bhutan
GenresFilmed danceFilmed performances
NotesAdditional physical form: For wide shot version, see: *MGZIDF 975A.Biographical/historical: This is the second year that we have documented the Ngangbi dances (2005 & 2006). The courtyard has been improved, expanded and flattened so as to get rid of the very noticeable slope of previous times. The cameras are in much the same positions as before, but there is now more space for spectators. The arena was roped off. The documentation concentrated mainly on the Zhey dances and did not shoot many of the intermediate masked dances and boedra. A new lama has been appointed (the ex-Champoen at Trongsa Dzong) and he introduced for the first time an external dance - a five-man version of Zhanag (with masks) using monks from Chakar. This, too, was not recorded - though the execution was good.Content: Ngangbi Rabney/Ngangbi Ramnyen, Day Two: Dec. 5, 2006: Beh - Martial Dances in front of the Deities temporarily installed for the festival ; Sachak Namchak (Shinjey with Yak masks) a special version of the ground-breaking dance using the very sacred Yak-headed masks carved by Namkha Samdrup ; Zhey, Pt. 1 first part of the long dance performed by the local Zheypa group ; Zhanag Cham - Black Hat dance performed by local dancers ; Zhey, Pt. 2 Second part and continuation of the Zhey dance ; Tshog Cham - Offering Dance ; Zhey, Pt. 3 continuation of the dance by the Zheypa ; Namkhai Samdrup Ngacham - The Drum Dance of Lama Namkha Samdrup ; Zhey, Pt. 4 - final section of the Zhey dances for the day it develops into the final exit procession of the relics back to the temple.Venue: Videotaped in performance at the Ngangbi Lhakhang, in Bumthang, Bhutan (Courtyard Baseline looking along left diagonal towards the Lhakhang), on Dec. 5, 2006.Acquisition: Gift; Core of Culture. NN-PDBiographical/historical: The Nganbi Ramnyen is a remarkably well-run and well preserved festival which is organised amongst 8 different villages in the Chhoekhor vallery. The Festival takes place at the Ngangbi Lhkakhang which is next door to the Noble house presided over by descendants of Lam Namkha Samdrup. The set of Zhey (Nobleman Families) dances is a remarkable survival from the time of the Zhabdrung and this variant is particular to the place. The dating of the festival is not fixed to a particular month or date but depends upon the timing of an astronomical event - as is also true at Namkha Lhakang (just over the hill from Nganbi) another temple established by Namkha Samdrup. Other particular parts to the festival include: The reading of the Tam (Jambay Lekshey) to representatives of each household - a set of dos and don ts for the participants in the festival (Do be courteous to others during the festival; Don t get drunk and fight during the festival; Don t put a big penis in a small vagina! etc. ) An evening meal for the Zhey and other participants in the festival in which ancestral food which includes cooked cow hide is served to all. The Hung Hung La dance is the last item on the festival list, and takes place throughout the evening of the last day. The Gathpo, Ganmo and Botsa atsaras go around all the local houses, giving auspicious blessings and cracking lewd jokes until dawn the next day.Biographical/historical: Ngangbi Ramnyen is held for three days from the 15th to the 17th days of the 10th Bhutanese month. A Chamjug or rehearsal day is held the day before. This information is generally correct, however, the timing of this particular tsechu is moved to coincide with a precise astronomical event, hence the dates may move either forwards or backwards.
Physical DescriptionBorn digitalExtent: 1 video file (ca. 10 min.) : sound, color
DescriptionLemah and Beh describe kinds of martial dances - often performed at tsechus and during certain rituals. The Lemah is a dance particularly associated with Punakha, and normally describes how the eight pazap groups are called to Punakha to take part in the celebrations remembering the famous victory over the Tibetan army under the Zhabdrung in 1639 - a memorial particularly associated with the Punakha Drubchen. Punakha was the seat of the Zhabdrung, and before the Punakha Drubchen could start all the Penlops (from Trongsa, Paro and Dagana) and Dzongpoens (Wangdue, thimphu etc.) had to pay taxes (bulwa or byu) (see the scene in the Coming of the Zhabdrung, 2005). The words sung in the Lemah dance contains a narration describing the whole story associated with the paying of these taxes and the other things associated with those times. It s rather like the Tam in Ngangbi Lhakhang, giving a description of those times. Each group singing Lemah will have a praise-song to their particular deities, for example the Bab Lemah (from Thimphu (Babesa)) talks of the deity from Semtokha - which is Legung Djarok Dongchen - the Raven-headed Mahakala. To paraphrase the words: It is an auspicious time here, and everything is as it should be. We have come to Punakha, together with our deity , the Raven-headed Mahakala from Semtokha to participate in the Drubchen. Last year we had a wonderful time at the Drubchen, and this year we will do the same at this time of the auspicious waxing energies of the first part of the month. Extracted from Punakha Drubchen and Tsechu - Published by RAPA. All eight Lemah songs are reproduced in this booklet. The Beh dances were introduced by the Zhabdrung after the victory over the Tibetan forces in 1639. They are much more martial in aspect, and more wrathful in their wording. Each of the eight Gewogs (in Punakha) has its own Beh wording. To refer again to the Bab Gewog: When Mahakala becomes incensed with anger, he turns into the wrathful Raven-Headed Mahakala, and then he roars like a thunder-dragon; that is when his shouting voice most protects the Buddhism of of Bhutan. All evil spirits are vanquished....Beware!!!! (these last words are shouted as a war-cry). Extracted from Punakha Drubchen and Tsechu - Published by RAPA. All eight Beh songs are reproduced in this booklet. In Ngangbi the word is pronounced Buh and refers to the idea of expression or explanation - each of the three who perform this Buh are expressing their inner selves in dancing.
Type of ResourceMoving image
IdentifiersNYPL catalog ID (B-number): b19941317Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): 34ac1b80-f876-0130-6ce4-3c075448cc4b
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