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Beh, Ngangbi Rabney: 2nd Day [Wide shot]

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Beh, Ngangbi Rabney: 2nd Day [Wide shot]
Additional title: Martial Dance
Core of Culture (Organization) (Producer)
Core of Culture (Organization) (Donor)

Bhutan Dance Project, Core of Culture

Dates / Origin
Date Created: 2005
Library locations
Jerome Robbins Dance Division
Shelf locator: *MGZIDF 853A
Dance -- Bhutan
Folk dancing -- Bhutan
Dance -- Religious aspects -- Buddhism
Rites & ceremonies -- Bhutan
Sword-dance -- Bhutan
Martial arts -- Drama
Dzongs -- Bhutan -- Bumthang (District)
Bumthang (Bhutan : District)
Festivals -- Bhutan
Ritual and ceremonial dancing -- Bhutan
Filmed dance
Filmed performances
Additional physical form: For close shot version, see: *MGZIDF 853B.
Content: Ngangbi Rabney/Ngangbi Ramnyen, Day Two: Dec. 16, 2005: 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, Bhutah (first floor of the Lhakhang - looking back across the same diagonal as camera C), on Dec. 16, 2005.
Acquisition: Gift; Core of Culture. NN-PD
Biographical/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 Description
Born digital
Extent: 1 video file (11 min.) : sound, color
These martial dances take place in front of the deities who have been taken from the local temple and one other household in a nearby village. They are performed to honour the presence of the deities at the festival and to display the martial aspect of the Zhey dancers whose task it will be to protect them and to ensure the success of the festival. Lemah 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 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.
Type of Resource
Moving image
NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b19894680
Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): d5606360-e507-0130-2954-3c075448cc4b
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
  • 2024: Found by you!
  • 2025

MLA Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. "Beh" The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 2005.

Chicago/Turabian Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. "Beh" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed May 22, 2024.

APA Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. (2005). Beh Retrieved from

Wikipedia Citation

<ref name=NYPL>{{cite web | url= | title= (moving image) Beh, (2005)|author=Digital Collections, The New York Public Library |accessdate=May 22, 2024 |publisher=The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox, and Tilden Foundations}}</ref>