Zhauli Cham, Ngangbi Rabney: Day Three - Final Day [Close shot]Additional title: Dance of the Evil SpiritAdditional title: Nyulemai Cham
NamesCore of Culture (Organization) (Producer)Core of Culture (Organization) (Donor)
Bhutan Dance Project, Core of Culture
Dates / OriginDate Created: 2005
Library locationsJerome Robbins Dance DivisionShelf locator: *MGZIDF 864B
TopicsDance -- BhutanFolk dancing -- BhutanDance -- Religious aspects -- BuddhismRites & ceremonies -- BhutanMasks -- BhutanBuddhist demonology -- BhutanSpirits (Buddhism)Dzongs -- Bhutan -- Bumthang (District)Bumthang (Bhutan : District)Festivals -- BhutanMask dances -- BhutanSpirit dances -- BhutanRitual and ceremonial dancing -- Bhutan
GenresFilmed danceFilmed performances
NotesAdditional physical form: For wide shot version, see: *MGZIDF 864A.Content: Ngangbi Rabney/Ngangbi Ramnyen, Day Three: Dec. 17, 2005: Zhey, Pt. 1 first part of the long dance performed by the local Zheypa group ; Zhauli Cham (Nyulemai Cham) - The Dance of the Evil Spirit ; Sampa Ngacham Mangcham - Drum dance of all attendant spirits ; Zhey: Jyui Lam Dam a particular dance in which the Zheypa link arms and pass under each other to form a close-knit group ; Pholey Moley - The Dance of the Noblemen and their Ladies ; Zhey: Hiyo - another particular dance that sees the Zheypa leaning alternately to right and left in a line with the Zheypon spinning by himself in front of them ; Khandumai Cham - The Dance of the Dakinis ; Zhey: The final dance of the Zheypa for the day.Venue: Videotaped in performance at the Ngangbi Lhakhang, in Bumthang, Bhutan (courtyard baseline looking along left diagonal towards the Lhakhang), on Dec. 17, 2005.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 (31 min.) : sound, color
DescriptionThe Dance of the Nyulema - or Evil Spirit - most often precedes the arrival of the Ging (avenging punishers of Evil) who perform three dances as they search out, conquer and celebrate their victory over the ways of the nyulema. In this dramatic performance the Evil spirit first tries to win the crowd over to his evil ways - and is ably supported in his antics by the attendant atsaras. Here at Ngangbi Rabney the Zhauli is captured by the fierce spirits of the following Sampa Ngacham Mangcham. Zhauli is a dialect word for Nyulema in Bumthang. The Nyulema is an Evil spirit and this extended dance dramatises both his methods of creating mischief and his ultimate discovery and capture by the Ging (who are avenging spirits sent to punish those who transgress). Nyulemai Cham is generally performed prior to the Peling Ging Sum - the three dances of the Ging revealed by Terton Pema Lingpa. At first the nyulema dances together with the atsaras, who act as willing accomplices, and interpret his actions to the crowd. His chief goal is to win the spectators over to his evil ways. The nyulema represents something present in every human being: the three poisons (Doksum (dok = poison) and (sum = three)) of Anger, Greed and Ignorance. He plays to the crowd of spectators on each of the four sides of the arena, promising to give them whatever they want - and feigning to give them food and drink in order to win them over. Eventually, he builds a fence around them to fence them in, since he wishes to make them all part of his retinue. Finally he lies down in the middle of the ground - happy at all the mischief he has done and all the souls he has won over to help him. At this point the Peling Ging-Sum begins, comprising three dances: Ju-ging, Dri-ging and Nga-ging which show the forces of good in direct combat with the evil spirit. Ju means baton or wand and the Ju-ging are spirits tasked to search out the roots of evil (using their wands as sensitive instruments to find out the direction in which evil lies). The Dri-ging - who carry swords - subjugate evil with their weapons before punishing and slaying (with compassion) any evil spirits found. The Nga-ging - who each carry a drum - perform a victory dance at having overcome the evil spirit, and also ensure that even those conquered evil spirits are still prayed for and ultimately liberated from their evil ways. The Nyulema is pursued by the fearsome gings, until he is eventually captured. The evil spirit can only escape from the encircling ging by breaking out between the champon and chamjug.
Type of ResourceMoving image
IdentifiersNYPL catalog ID (B-number): b19894710Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): 47519940-e508-0130-ed65-3c075448cc4b
Copyright NoticeCore of Culture
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