Nyulemai Cham, Ura Yakchoe: 3rd Day of Festival [Wide shot]Additional title: Dance of the Evil Spirit
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 836A
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 close shot version, see: *MGZIDF 836B.Content: Programme of the Ura Yakchoe: Day Three: April 23, 2005: 3:30 am: Wake up call - The lama and the monks are woken up by the Gathpo clown, by a monk blowing the Jaling (oboe) and by singing girls -- 4:30 am: The morning ritual The lama and the priests assemble to perform the sadhana ceremony of Vajrapani and the invocation of Padmasambhava within the temple -- 8:00 am: Public call & Invocation of War Deity The monks perform monastic music on the temple roof to summon the village to the temple ground. The villagers will begin their breakfast round and at this time the supplication of the war deity by the clowns (To Dala) takes place -- 9:00 am: Fetching of Masks The monks performing mask dance bring the masks needed for the day from the upper shrine room -- 10:00 am: Lunch The priests have their early lunch -- 11:00 am: Beginning of Masked Dances and Folk Dances From 11 am, the monks perform mask dances and the village girls perform folk dances alternately. These Masked dances include: Chungzhi - (The Garuda and Damsi dance), Thowachu - (The dance of the ten Wrathful Deities), Durdag - (The dance of the four guardians of the gates), Ging Tang Tsholing - (The Tsholing and Ging dance), Ju-ging, Dri ging, Nga ging -- 3:00 pm: Tea Offering The public joins the monks in the temple to have tea sponsored by the individual units of the village -- 4:00 pm: Pholey Moley - The Drama of Handsome Men and Pretty Women -- 6:00 pm: Public dances The day ends with folk dances led by the village elders -- 7:00 pm: Evening ceremony and Alcohol Tasting The monks start the evening session of rituals and the village elders assemble to taste singchang in the temple.Venue: Videotaped in performance at the Ura Lakhang, Bumthang, Bhutan (East-facing window overlooking courtyard), on Apr. 23, 2005.Acquisition: Gift; Core of Culture. NN-PDBiographical/historical: The Ura Yakchoe is said to be associated with a visit to Ura by the great 8th Century saint, Padmasambhava or Guru Rinpoche. The story is told how the people of Ura prayed to Padmasambhava to protect them from Leprosy. The Guru answered this call and by appearing in the village disguised as a mendicant and was invited to eat lunch by an old lady who was engaged in spinning wool. She made a lunch of buckwheat pancakes (traditional Bumthang food) but was surprised to find the beggar no longer there when she called him to eat. When she later returned to her spinning she discovered a precious statue of Vajrapani lying within her wool basket. Two different versions exist of the subsequent history of the statue. In the first version, three days later the statue miraculously flies from the old lady s house to the nearby village of Gadan. Another version has it that the statue was presented to the Gadan Lam by agreement amongst all the village people of Ura. It is also said that when the statue of Vajrapani arrived in Gadan, a nine-headed snake was disturbed and slithered out of the Ura Valley. The place is still known as Puguyungdhogo (Place of the nine-headed snake.) Leprosy, a disease thought to be spread by serpents (spirits) was eventually overcome in the Ura Valley by the blessings of Vajrapani.Biographical/historical: The festival begins on the 12th Day of the Third Month (Lunar Calendar) with the procession of the Vajrapani relic from Gadan to the Ura Lhakhang. It ends five days later, on the 16th Day of the Third Month.
Physical DescriptionBorn digitalExtent: 1 video file (6 min.) : sound, color
DescriptionThe Dance of the Nyulema - or Evil Spirit - always precedes the arrival of another set of spirits who are avenging punishers of Evil. However, this version of the constant battle between Good and Evil sees the arrival of four Garudas (Chung) who surprise the Zhauli at rest. 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. He escapes from the Garudas only to be caught later and brought to book for his crimes. See the following Chungji. 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 avenging spirits sent to punish those who transgress - in this case Four Garudas. 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 four Garuda enter and surprise him.
Type of ResourceMoving image
IdentifiersNYPL catalog ID (B-number): b19893418Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): 5c83b670-e531-0130-292a-3c075448cc4b
Copyright NoticeCore of Culture
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