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Zhauli Cham, Thangbi Mani, Day One: Chamjug, Rehearsal [Close shot]

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Zhauli Cham, Thangbi Mani, Day One: Chamjug, Rehearsal [Close shot]

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Title
Zhauli Cham, Thangbi Mani, Day One: Chamjug, Rehearsal [Close shot]
Additional title: Dance of the Evil Spirit
Additional title: Nyulemai Cham
Names
Core of Culture (Organization) (Producer)
Core of Culture (Organization) (Donor)
Collection

Bhutan Dance Project, Core of Culture

Dates / Origin
Date Created: 2005
Library locations
Jerome Robbins Dance Division
Shelf locator: *MGZIDF 723B
Topics
Dance -- Bhutan
Folk dancing -- Bhutan
Dance -- Religious aspects -- Buddhism
Rites & ceremonies -- Bhutan
Buddhist demonology -- Bhutan
Masks -- Bhutan
Festivals -- Bhutan
Dzongs -- Bhutan -- Bumthang (District)
Folk dancing -- Bhutan
Rites and ceremonies -- Bhutan
Bumthang (Bhutan : District)
Genres
Filmed dance
Filmed performances
Notes
Performers: There are only eight dancers who perform all the dances during the three days of the entire festival.
Content: Thangbi Mani (Day One, Sept. 17, 2005 - Chamjug Rehearsal): Drel Cham - Wrathful Dance ; Zhauli Cham (Nyulemai Cham) - The Dance of the Evil Spirit ; Gonbo Bernag Ter Cham (Ging Cham) - Treasure Dance of the Black-Coated Mahakala ; Jin Sek - Fire Ritual ; Shazam - Dance of the Four Stags.
Venue: Videotaped in performance in the front courtyard of the Thangbi Lhakhang/Lhendrup Chhoeling Monastery (camera c - shoots at ground level diagonally across the courtyard), in Bumthang, on Sept. 17, 2005.
Acquisition: Gift; Core of Culture. NN-PD
Biographical/historical: The Thangbi festival held at Thangbi Lhakhang was founded in 1470 by the fourth Zhamarpa of the Karma Kagyu School of Tibetan Mahayana Buddhism. Located in the north of Choekkhor valley, it takes about 30 minutes walk from the road through the fields of buckwheat to reach the Temple. A small village festival held annually after the harvest of Potato and buckwheat to be thankful for the good harvest. It is also the time to celebrate and to pray that all sentient beings are blessed by invoking the deities through the ritual dances that are performed.
Biographical/historical: The fourth Zhamar Rinpoche of the Karmapa School came to Bumthang from Tibet in the 15th Century in order to establish a monastery and in 1470 he founded Thangbi Lhakhang, located in the middle of a wide fertile plateau overlooking the river. Following a quarrel with Pema Lingpa, Zhamar Rinpoche had to leave Thangbi. The iron curtain hanging in the entrance is said to have been forged by Pema Lingpa himself, who took over the monastery.
Physical Description
Born digital
Extent: 1 video file (ca. 10 min.) : sound, color
Description
The 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 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 - who also tease the nyulema mercilessly. 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.Thangbi Mewang is held for four days, from the 13th to the 16th days of the 8th Bhutanese month.The Chamjug started in the evening - and took place almost entirely without any lights. We therefore didn't use lights to illuminate the arena - as this would have been invasive. The resulting picture quality was very low however, with the exception of some of the scenes during the Jin Sek - Ritual Fire Dance.
Type of Resource
Moving image
Identifiers
NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b19797756
Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): 8144e3e0-8292-0130-1803-3c075448cc4b
Copyright Notice
Core of Culture
Rights Statement
This item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).

Item timeline of events

  • 2005: Created
  • 2013: Digitized
  • 2020: Found by you!
  • 2021

MLA Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. "Zhauli Cham" The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 2005. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/81638dd0-8292-0130-944c-3c075448cc4b

Chicago/Turabian Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. "Zhauli Cham" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 30, 2020. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/81638dd0-8292-0130-944c-3c075448cc4b

APA Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. (2005). Zhauli Cham Retrieved from http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/81638dd0-8292-0130-944c-3c075448cc4b

Wikipedia Citation

<ref name=NYPL>{{cite web | url=http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/81638dd0-8292-0130-944c-3c075448cc4b | title= (moving image) Zhauli Cham, (2005)|author=Digital Collections, The New York Public Library |accessdate=March 30, 2020 |publisher=The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox, and Tilden Foundations}}</ref>

Zhauli Cham